Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Gospel: Share It!

* One of the occasional meditations I write for our church bulletin.

The Gospel: Love it!  Live it!  Share it!  Defend it!

The gospel message is one that must be shared with others.  There must be a communication of the content to people so that will know what God has done in Christ Jesus and what response is required of them.  The Philippian congregation was new to life in Christ but they were eager to “participate in the gospel” with Paul (Philippians 1.5).  They sent Epaphroditus with a financial gift to help support the ministry of Paul in bringing the gospel message to others.  This gift-giving was something they had done on more than one occasion (Philippians 4.16).  The gospel was not something to be enjoyed for themselves alone.  The gospel was meant to be shared with others.  Coming to Christ meant entering into relationship with God through Jesus and entering into Jesus’ mission for the nations. 

Not everyone is called to be an evangelist in the sense of going out and preaching to crowds.  We are, however, all called to be ready “to give an account for the hope that is in us” (1 Peter 3.15).  Paul tells the believers in Colossae to be ready to respond appropriately to non-believers:

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.  Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you respond to each person.  –Colossians 4.5-6

Jesus looked on the crowds he ministered to with great compassion.  On one occasion he looked and saw a crowd approaching and said these words to his disciples:

Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.  Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life…  --John 4.35-36

Let us “lift up our eyes” and see the people around us—family, friends, and strangers—who need the life-giving message of God’s grace in Jesus Christ.  Let us ask our Father for the eyes of Jesus that we too may have compassion on the people around us.  May our hearts be moved with gospel grace as we share the gospel.

The Gospel: Share It!