Businesses, churches, and organizations often choose an annual theme for their work. Several years ago I began selecting a passage of Scripture, Bible word, or specific emphasis for my own personal study each year. It has been a good thing for me to return again and again to some anchor truth. Anchors keep you from drifting!
Yet the Bible is more than an anchor – it is a prod. As surely as it fastens things down, it also presses us forward. Solomon said as much when he wrote of Scripture, “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd” (Ecclesiastes 12:11-12). Truth brings stability and growth at the same time.
As the new year approached the Holy Spirit continued to press on my mind a particular phrase from God’s Word. Paul wrote, in the context of an amazing passage, in 1 Corinthians 9:23, “And this I do for the gospel’s sake…”
Paul’s entire life and labor was wrapped up in this – the sake of the gospel. The cause of Christ had truly become his cause.
“For the gospel’s sake” is another way of saying “for God’s sake” because God’s passionate pursuit is for every man to hear and be changed by the gospel. This message is His mission. Shouldn’t it be mine?
Books are written about the gospel. We talk freely about things connected to the gospel. We sing about the gospel. We say a hearty Amen to the preaching of the gospel. We say we believe the gospel. But what have we actually done for the gospel’s sake?
This is the whole context of the text. Paul said, “And this I do for the gospel’s sake…” We know so much, and do so little. We talk so much, and do so little! So, where do we start? Here are a few suggestions:
- Evaluate your current schedule, priorities, and investments and ask yourself how much of it is actually connected to God’s eternal purpose in the gospel. Ask yourself: what do I need to adjust to align my time, energy, and resources with God’s work in this world?
- Pray every morning that God will give you a gospel appointment that day. Then, be on alert! Look for open doors for the gospel – do something every day for the gospel! Pass out a piece of gospel literature. Give your personal testimony. Meet with a co-worker for lunch or coffee and have a conversation about Christ. Use your social media to share the good news of Jesus.
- Plan now to participate in some definite way in a great gospel advance this year. Take a mission trip. Work in an evangelistic campaign with your local church. Get additional training in personal evangelism. Begin to give or increase your giving to world evangelism.
With God’s help, I want to make this year a gospel year! Will you join me?
Jesus said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:34-35).
Our Lord connected His whole life to the gospel. Now it is our turn. Lose your life this year! Let it be consumed with the gospel and completely given to God. It is the only way to make it count.
What will you do for the gospel’s sake?
Used by permission of Enjoying the Journey.