“…I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” ~Acts 20:24 (NIV)
“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’” ~Mark 16:15
God’s command for us to go and preach His gospel message is a very familiar command that most believers are aware of. We know that we are supposed to go into all the world and preach the gospel. We know that God asks that we share His Word with people as often as we have the opportunity. Yet, for many of us, we view this more as an obligation–as something that we are simply expected to do. We add it to the list of rules that we must obey and requirements we must meet. And it is not necessarily wrong for us to do this; after all, it is a command of God to us.
But what if we viewed this from a different perspective? What if we viewed every opportunity to share God’s Word as a privilege, rather than an obligation? That’s what the Apostle Paul did. Paul went on multiple journeys, risking his life multiple times, all for the sake of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Following a set of rules doesn’t typically make anyone want to risk his or her life. If preaching the gospel is just an obligation, something we feel like we have to do, then we will have the tendency to only go so far–to only do the bare minimum. But what if there is something more?
What if we shared the gospel, not because we feel like we have to, but because we want to? What if we were so in love with Jesus that we just could not help speaking about what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:20)? The Apostle Paul was so passionate about preaching the good news of Jesus wherever he went that he said he considered his life nothing–he was willing to preach the gospel at any cost!
Think about it. Paul was beaten, mocked, and scorned. He was stoned and left for dead. He was imprisoned multiple times. He was taken as a prisoner, shipwrecked, and bitten by a poisonous snake. Yet, each time, the Lord spared him because the Lord still had more people who needed to hear the gospel. Paul didn’t share the gospel because he felt like he had to. He shared the gospel because he wanted to!
Second Corinthians 5:14 tells us that Christ’s love compels us. This means that, when we are in Christ, we are so filled with His love that we cannot help but share it with everyone around us! So the question we must ask ourselves is: Are we compelled by Christ’s love? Are we so passionately in love with Him that we will do whatever it takes to introduce others to Him as well?
As with so many other things, sharing the gospel really isn’t about a list of rules and requirements. It’s about a relationship–a deep, life-giving, fulfilling relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father, and His Holy Spirit alive in us. Why would we not want to tell others about this amazing news? What are we afraid of? What are we waiting for? Let’s let His love compel us to share His word at every opportunity we have, trusting Him to speak through us in the ways that only He can!