“…but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ” (1 Cor. 9:12)
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most precious thing in this life for by it we are saved from the wrath of God, and apart from it we can have no salvation. Apostle Paul, addressing the Corinthian church, tells them that he does not want to be a hindrance to the gospel of Christ. Paul’s goal in life was to spread this gospel among all the people.
Do we possess the same mind as Paul did for our lives? Do we live our lives and endure many challenges and losses so that we would not be an obstacle to the spread of the gospel of Christ? Are we a people of the gospel?
The gospel of Christ was never meant to be hidden or to be locked up in a dungeon. Jesus was raised from the dead and since then the gospel is active and living. The gospel is the light that shines into our hearts, and it cannot be hidden. It is a fountain of life that flows and cannot be stopped. The gospel is meant to be proclaimed among all the peoples, for God is to be proclaimed and worshiped among all the people!
Do the cares of this life choke out the word of God in your life? Jesus tells of the sower sowing the word into the hearts of people: “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful” (Matt. 13:22). In America we have all that we need- money and a good economy provide us with comfort, security, and identity. Often times these are the very things that choke the gospel work out of our lives.
God wants the gospel of Jesus Christ to penetrate our lives so much that we are ready to step out of our comfort zone for the sake of the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul says: “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them…To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings” (9:19, 22-23). Our lives as believers in Jesus Christ should be completely transformed by the gospel- the gospel should change our character and our mission and our purpose in this life.
Am I focused so much on building my own life that I lose sight of the people around me who desperately need to hear the gospel in order to be saved from eternal damnation? Do we live to proclaim this gospel to the people around us? These questions should ring in our hearts as long as we live because we are so inclined to focus on ourselves.
The goal here is not to condemn anyone, or to bring upon guilt, but to wake us up to the call of being a Christian. To be a Christian means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ- to live your life in accordance with His will, and not your own. This means, as a sinful human being, you realize that you have sinful desires and tendencies and you come to the Bible and pray that God would conform your life for His glory.
We have been given so much through the gospel of Jesus Christ, not just to enjoy it, but also to spread it and proclaim it among all the people. Jesus says in the Great Commission “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age”(Matt. 28:18-20).
Who do we love more- Jesus or ourselves? His plans or our own? His desires or our desires? As sinful human beings we tend to live for our own selves. That is why we have the Holy Sprit to direct us into His truth, to strengthen us to do his will. Let us be consumed and infatuated with Jesus himself! When he becomes more glorious to us, then our life becomes all about Him.