Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Year-End Thoughts

 

It’s hard to believe we’re sitting here watching the final hours of 2014 pass while watching the New Year usher in. To be sure, 2015 holds many surprises for us all, some we will rejoice over and some that will challenge us to an extent we never dreamed possible.

As I was reading this morning, a scripture really pressed hard on my heart. In fact, I used it in a year-end message for HGIM. When I read it, wells of passion began to gush deep within my heart … passion for the lost, for the persecuted and for family and friends.

“For if I proclaim the gospel, 
it is not to me a reason for boasting, 
for necessity is imposed on me. 
For woe is to me if I do not proclaim the gospel.” 
(1 Cor 9:16)

Proclaiming the Gospel is not a reason for boasting, according to Paul. Rather, it necessity is imposed on us. While it is a privilege to serve God in any capacity, it should never be a reason for boasting regardless of position, gift, maturity level or service offered to the Kingdom. That’s when our work becomes about us and the Gospel becomes secondary. The necessity of proclaiming the Gospel is imposed on us, according to Paul. While his statement can be applied in different ways, the words in any context communicate the fact that it is necessary for us to proclaim the Gospel—it is not a suggestion, it’s not a thought or a hint, but proclaming the Gospel is a command to all who believe.

Paul doesn’t stop there, though. He goes on to declare a very personal application: “For woe is to me if I do not proclaim the gospel.” It’s not a choice …  not for Paul, not for me, not for you, not for any who are in Christ! 

Oh, if only we could adopt Paul’s humility and careful obedience to the cause of Christ! If only we would look at ministry through his lens, feel his passion, and offer ourselves so thoroughly to be used to fulfill God’s plan to propagate the Gospel to the farthest corners of the earth.

This new year opens to us countless opportunities to proclaim the Gospel. The question is, what will we do with them? And, how will we insure our boast remains in the Lord and not in our accomplishments (1 Cor 1:31)?

_____ 
(c) 2014 Jan Ross 
All Rights Reserved

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