“And this I do FOR THE GOSPEL’S SAKE …” (1 Corinthians 9:23).
I never read this passage of scripture without asking myself some very serious and sobering questions:
- WHAT AM I WILLING TO DO FOR THE GOSPEL’S SAKE?
- WHAT MORE COULD I BE DOING FOR THE GOSPEL’S SAKE?
And, then there’s …..
- WHAT am I willing to surrender for the gospel’s sake?
- WHERE am I willing to be sent for the gospel’s sake?
- WHO am I willing to serve for the gospel’s sake?
- WHAT am I willing to sacrifice for the gospel’s sake?
- WHY am I not doing more for the gospel’s sake?
The Apostle Paul lived, loved, served, sacrificed, and, eventually gave up his earthly life for the gospel’s sake. Paul isn’t the only one who has done so. Over the past 2,000 years there have been thousands, even hundreds of thousands who gave themselves up for the gospel’s sake. There was a time when most of us were totally devoted to Christ and the cause of Christ in the world. In other words, we were living for the sake of the Gospel. Unfortunately, some of us have become distracted, discouraged, and taken a detour from the path we once trod.
Just a few days ago I read the following words:
But before long, we discover we have been distracted; before long, we realize we have been pulled in another direction. What seemed so clear and so crucial at one time is suddenly neither clear nor crucial. Of course, we would never dream of being disobedient, but we do sometimes look for ways to be obedient on our own terms. God’s Word is so clear. God’s commands are so direct. God’s intentions for His church are so compelling. Yet, if that is true . . .
- Why is more than 70 percent of the world’s evangelistic witness focused on the world’s historically Christian countries?
- Why does the church in the West retain well over 90 percent of God’s resources for itself?
- Why is the bulk of sacrificial offerings directed toward buildings,
- Why do unengaged and unreached people groups today still lack even minimal access to the gospel?
- Why do many seminaries in the West, filled to overflowing with capable and committed students, send fewer than 10 percent of their graduates to the Nations?
Answers to those questions are, of course, complex. But some of those answers are wrapped up in the lies that God’s people have heard, believed, and gradually incorporated into our hearts and minds.
—Ripken, Nik (2013-12-09). The Insanity of Obedience: Walking with Jesus in Tough Places
While the above excerpt deals with the church in general in America, it has a message for all of us. Are we still committed to the cause of Christ – the Gospel? May this become the passion of our hearts!
The king of England once said to William Booth, “You are doing a great work – a great work, General Booth.” When the king asked William Booth to write in his autograph album, the old man – now 75 years old – bent forward, took the pen, and summed up his life’s work:
Some men’s ambition is art,
Some men’s ambition is fame,
Some men’s ambition is gold,
My ambition is the souls of men!
Just reflecting for the sake of the Gospel!!!