i was hit with this question one morning a few weeks ago, like a ton of bricks right to the stomach. it was quite humbling, to say the very least.
where’d it come from? i am not sure. it wasn’t audibly spoken to me by anyone. it was just there, presented to me as i struggled to open my eyes just wide enough to brush my teeth. if i were to read this somewhere else, if someone else were to tell me about this experience, i’d probably discredit the person as a looney and move on. but in this case, that looney is me. so, i guess i am left with no choice but to address it.
the Gospel. the “Good News.” what am i doing with it? that’s a good question.
what the Gospel means to me
i began thinking about what the Gospel means to me. when i boil it down, it means that my life has been saved, redeemed by someone else. someone i didn’t even know. someone who lived more than 2000 years ago. crazy, right? but that’s what it means to me. Jesus Christ – crucified and risen from the dead three days later. why? so that i don’t have to pay the dept of my sins. so that the crimson stains of my sinful life choices are washed white as snow. so that i can live eternally in the presence of The Lord of all creation. the ultimate fulfillment of joy, simply being in His presence.
i’d say that’s pretty good news.
how does that news change your life?
while thinking about this, a passage from the book of Matthew came to my mind. it talks about a man’s experience with the good news of the kingdom of heaven. it goes like this:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
so this guy ‘finds’ the good news of heaven and decides that it’s more valuable than everything he has, sells all his possessions and invests it all in that good news. wow…
then i thought of those who actually knew Jesus, those whose lives He touched most closely. the few He chose as His disciples. and this is exactly the kind of lives they lived. they gave up everything they had to share with others about this good news – that Jesus Christ was the savior prophesied in the OT. that He had given up His life in their place, if they would only trust in Him for their salvation.
the disciples’ lives were forever changed, just from knowing Jesus. and some would argue that they weren’t changed for the better. most, if not all, of these guys died horrible deaths. by stoning. by crucifixion (both right side up and upside down). by beheading. and the crazy thing is, that’s the life they chose to live! all they had to do was say, “wait, wait. okay, you’re right. He really isn’t Lord incarnate. Jesus didn’t actually die and rise again three days later, paying the price of sinners who trust in Him as Lord.”
had they said this, had they denied what they believed to be true, they wouldn’t have faced such painful, terrible deaths. but they didn’t. they were unwilling to deny Jesus as Lord. why? because what they had experienced – the good news of Jesus Christ – was worth it. spreading this Good News was worth more to them than anything this world had to offer.
so, the question remains: what are you doing with the Gospel?
man, i think about this question and i am completely humbled. you might say humiliated. why? because i honestly believe with all i have in this Good News. and yet, when i think about it, i am doing so little with that good news. it has cost me so very little.
i pray, Lord God, that i would have the opportunity to do something with the Gospel. that my eyes would be open to the opportunities i am faced with every single day to spread the Good News. and that, when these opportunities are before me, that nothing in this world would be able to prevent me from bubbling over in joyful celebration and sharing of the Good News of Jesus Christ. the One, my Lord, who saved my life.