“Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel. If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it.” (1st Corinthians 9:16-18)
Proclamation is not an achievement leading us to brag. It is a compulsion bringing its own reward. Two competing reasons motivate us to proclaim the gospel: 1) people are lost without Christ and need to be saved; 2) we need to obey God. The gospel requires urgency of proclamation. Every person who is not saved is destined for eternal separation from God (Matt. 25:46; Rev. 20:11-15). God desires all to be saved (Matt. 24:14; 2nd Peter 3:9). God’s love and His Spirit live in the believer, compelling every believer to proclaim the gospel. This sense of urgency rested on Jesus (Mk 1:38-39; Lk 4:43-44). That same compulsion moved the hearts of the early believers (Mk 13:10, Acts 4:17-20). The compulsion to proclaim the gospel is rooted in the awareness that God has assigned us that task as believers (2nd Cor. 5:17-21).
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, today we recognize the gift of compulsion whereby we take our call from God and are compelled to preach on the Gospel. Today we also pray those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Love is never afraid of giving too much.”
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
As previously stated, “All the people are lost without Christ and need to be saved,” and “We need to obey God.!” So here is the reason that we preach, for the people really do need to hear the message of the gospel and it must be told using real life situation that will help them in their walk with Christ, so you just can’t pull out a previous sermon from years back and just reuse it, as it needs to be fresh and well thought in the common vernacular of the day and with new examples for the people to hear and apply to their daily lives. The other part of our needing to obey God most certainly applies as well. There are times when I’m reading something that applies to a particular gospel and I’ll make a note of it and use the thought that came to my mind when reading it again. The compulsion that I feel comes from the Holy Spirit and helps me to present the message in a different manner, but with the same passion than previously.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!’ Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else—-to the nearby villages—-so, I can preach there also. That is why I have come.’ So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.” (Mark 1:35-39)
Did you notice Jesus getting up early to pray to God? This is a very small, yet very important example for all of us as well. Before we hit the road to fight traffic to get to jobs or schools and then take on the days trials, we need to take a few moments to pray to God, to take our concerns for the day, our friends that might be hurting in body or mind or spirit, and pray to God for them, for our co-workers, for our families, and for ourselves. It sets the say up for success.
Proclaiming the good news of salvation was the center of Jesus’ ministry. Healing miracles provided opportunity to bring people to listen to Him preach, for it was His way of bringing as many people as possible together to listen to Him preach. As people were coming to hear Him preach, they also brought family members, friends and neighbors for Him to heal as well.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“When the devil had finished all this tempting he left him until an opportune time. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.” (Luke 4:13-14)
Jesus was coming out of the desert, having been tested by Satan many times, though he was not finished, not yet. He immediately met His disciples and followers and moved towards Galilee. He method of gathering had not changed, but He was filled with confidence. He moved into villages and bigger cities, and word got around that He was there to preach, so people moved to catch up with Him and He would look for the most adventageous location for the most people and He would stop, allowing everyone to gather around Him. He would look out and begin to preach salvation for everyone by accepting Him as our Lord and Savior and find mercy, forgiveness and eternal life. Then he would take card of the people’s needs, maybe arrange food for them, and then heal those who were sick in any way. He was nearing Nazareth, but for now He was content to save as many people as possible, before moving on again.
So my beloved, what drives you each and every day? Those of us have a designated schedule for each day, but every day, it involves prayer for our congregations, for our families, for our communities, for our state, our nation, and for the world collectively. This sets our minds for servanthood and helps us focus our days with the Lord. What do you do to focus your day and make it easier?