Wednesday, January 24, 2007

15 Minutes or Less

That's what the young man said to me last night. My phone rang yesterday evening after the State of the Union address, and, consequently, after "phonegate"; the debacle some have identified as a basketball game between IU and Illinois. I figured that someone wanted either to discuss President Bush's address to the State or "phonegate".

I preferred to do neither. (Although, it was different seeing Nancy Pelosi sitting behind the President. I didn't say bad. I said different. I kept waiting for Cheney to give her a playful elbow to the arm, glance her way and crack a smile, anything like that. That was like waiting for Kelvin Sampson to call Bruce Weber, but I digress.)

Dianna answered the phone, and she promptly handed it to me. I could tell that she didn't know who was on the other end, so I began to think of witty things that I could say to the telemarketer before hanging up on him. I was mildly rebuked when I discovered that the caller was a South Putnam high school student who wanted me to speak at their FCA meeting on Thursday morning. I love how God refocuses my attention on what's important. I hate that it needs to be refocused so often.

Like I said, the young man asked me to speak at their morning FCA meeting, and he asked me to speak for "fifteen minutes or less". That is all the time I have because this is a "before school" meeting.

Fifteen minutes doesn't seem like a long time. Is it possible to communicate anything of eternal significance in 900 seconds or less? I plan on communicating the gospel, specifically from John 3. That Biblical passage allows us to eavesdrop on the late-night conversation between the Pharisee Nicodemus and the Lord Jesus Christ. I don't know how long their conversation lasted, but I do that during the conversation Christ simply called Nicodemus to faith and repentance.

He told him, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:7) Christ then explained that the new birth is made possible because of the cross, and he used an Old Testament story to illustrate: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:14-15)

In a relatively short amount of time the Lord exposited and cogently illustrated Numbers 21:4-9. Nicodemus discovered that religion will not earn salvation, but that salvation is a free gift from the Father. This free gift is made possible by the Son's sacrificial death and resurrection from the grave, and it is available to those who will humble themselves, repent of their sins, and look in faith to Jesus.

That can be said in fifteen minutes or less.


David Pitman said...

Great blog! Didn't know that IU had a basketball program.

Travis said...

Last night they looked more like a practice squad instead of a D-1 program.

I'm glad you like the blog. I'd like to contribute an aricle every now again.

Travis said...

Err... I meant to say "I'd like to have you contribute an article every now and again".

From now on I'll remember to use the "preview" button before the "publish" button.

Anonymous said...

Da Bears!!!!!! Nice Blog! Will check in the mornings before I go to work.

Anonymous said...


Just finished reading the blog. I look forward to being able to come to it on a regular basis.

I am thankful to have men of your caliber among the men who allow me to call them friend.

Darrell Messer