Noted author/speaker Dr. Tony Evans spoke on Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church. Evans appeared as the featured speaker in the Dorothy and Kemmons Wilson Speaker Series sponsored by the Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation. Open to the public, the diverse crowd was described by Thomas Dyer, who provided the introductory remarks regarding the Wilson Speaker Series, as “looking more like Memphis tonight than it’s ever looked.” The audio for Evans’ talk, “Finding Hope in Broken World,”can be found here. The audio from the luncheon featuring Evans can be found here.
Below is an excerpt of Dr. Evans’ book entitled What a Way to Live! Running All of Life by the Kingdom Agenda (Nashville: Word, 1997). Evans describes it as his “magnum opus” in which he expresses his “comprehensive worldview and philosophy of ministry” (xiii).
Now if you’re still wondering why so many Christians are still saying yes to sin even when God has supplied abundant grace, let me suggest an answer. The reason so many Christians are struggling with spiritual discipline is because they are doing a program rather than pursuing a Person.
When you read your Bible and and pray because that’s what good Christians ought to do, you are just fulfilling the program. But Jesus didn’t die for a program, and neither is a program your Savior. Look back at Titus 2:13. What we should be looking forward to is the appearing of Jesus Christ, not the completion of a program.
Not long ago, I ran into a young woman in our church who had been on a perpetual diet. A lot of us know what that’s like. She had tried one program after another. Something would work for a while, and then she would lose her discipline and her enthusiasm. But the last time I saw her, she had lost a lot of weight. She looked great. I said, ‘Girl, what happened to you? You must have found the right program.’
She said, ‘No , I found a guy. We started dating and fell in love. And in love he said to me, “I think you need to lose some weight.”
‘I found energy I never had before! It didn’t matter what program I was using, because there was someone in my life I wanted to please. I can pass up any food now. Burger King can offer to do it my way, but I don’t want it no way! I want to look good for my man.’
When you have passion for a person, you won’t have a problem with the program. You won’t read the Bible because ‘a verse a day keeps the devil away’ but because you want to meet the Author. You won’t get on your knees because good Christians pray but because you want to talk to your divine Lover.
Pursue Christ as a Person you are in love with, and you will find the grace of God giving you power to pull off the program of God. (119-20)