“Therefore is where as if begins.”- Mark Batterson
Four-fifths of Americans had heard George Whitefield preach in person prior to the Revolutionary War. During his thirty-four year preaching career, Whitefield preached 18,000 sermons. That is more than one sermon per day!
What motivated George Whitefield? He preached as if it were true, and he was driven by a powerful therefore– to preach for all eternity. In Chapter 11 (“Cross- Eyed”) of If, Mark Batterson defines therefore:
“It’s a one-word manifesto, a God-ordained passion, a God-given dream. It defines who you are and who you’re not. It’s your defining moment, your driving motivation. It’s the why behind every what. It’s the thing you’d go to your grave fighting for.”
In other words, therefore is a decisive action- throwing down the gauntlet. It is the point of no return. Scripture contains 1,220 therefores. Mark describes them as “the theological bridges across which some of Scripture’s greatest truths travel.” A simple axiom from the field of hermeneutics states: whenever you come across a therefore, find out what it’s there for.
Pastor Batterson notes that the first eleven verses of Romans 8 are a chorus of what God has done for us. Beginning with verse 12, the next few verses are a refrain of what God expects from us. Verse 12 reads: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation- but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it.”
The word obligation often is misinterpreted in a negative light. Mark encourages you to think of obligation as something you get to do rather than something you have to do. Thus, Mark states, “our greatest obligation doubles as our greatest opportunity- surrendering our lives to the lordship of Christ.” There is no greater privilege than being used for God’s eternal purposes. Remember, therefore is where as if begins!
Today’s question: What is your therefore? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Get ahead of God”