January 7

Today I read a great chapter, with a very interesting verse that really stirred my heart.  I want to share it with you, because I believe it shows the responsibility of every believer, not just a preacher or missionary.  Paul ended this chapter with a whole explanation of the different people groups with which he had a burden to share the Gospel.  He named [1] all men; [2] the Jews; [3] those under the law; [4] those without the law; and [5] to the weak.  He concludes this list by saying, “And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you” (I Corinthians 9:23).

Paul felt a compulsion from the Lord for the Gospels sake.  He owed a debt to the Gospel that he knew involved him giving that Gospel to as many as would listen to him.  The verse that really stirred my heart today is: “What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel” (I Corinthians 9:18).  Did you catch what Paul tried to tell us in this verse?  He says that because he had freely received the Gospel, that he now had an obligation to offer it freely to others.

Many times I believe we Christians view witnessing as a “necessary discipline” of our lives.  I believe Paul looked at it differently.  The responsibility of sharing the Gospel should not be seen by us as something we dread doing, but something that God has entrusted to us.  To share your faith should not be something your pastor needs to “guilty” you into doing.  The reality of Heaven and Hell should compel us to share the Gospel message.

Paul realized (and we ought to as well) that the Gospel was and is man’s only hope of touching Heaven one day. Because of the exclusivity of the entrance to Heaven, it becomes imperative that those of us, who know it, share it with other.  No person will touch Heaven without the Gospel of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.  Paul felt compelled, do you?  Paul recognized the importance of sharing what he knew of the resurrected Savior, do we?  How many times have we handed out a tract because it is what we are supposed to do, but never prayed that someone would read it and trust Christ? I want to have the same heart for the Gospel that Paul demonstrated here in I Corinthians.  I want to hunger for times to share my faith with the lost and dying.  I want to take every opportunity to stand and proclaim the Gospel message to those who have never heard.

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