Compelled to Share the Gospel
Devotiona?Discussionl thought of the day:
14 For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike. 15 So I am eager to come to you in Rome, too, to preach the Good News. 16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. Romans 1:14-16 (NLT)
In yesterdays blog – which gratefully caused some interesting discussion, a point was made – that our ministry, though it may change over time – is not one that we can retire from.
Today we see a bit more why.
The obligation Paul speaks of, in my mind opinion, is not one of the law, unless it be the law of Christ which he speaks of later. Instead, I believe it is the same sort of obligation that drives us when we see someone in pain, and are compelled to help. Or the need to go and sit by someone who is grieving – to share in their grief – or for that matter to share in the joy of someone who is rejoicing.
One of the commentaries last week talked of “sympathetic lamentation” – the sense that the emotional state of one can cause a nearly simultaneous reaction in all of us, even those most determined not to show such emotion. Or to use a more blunt analogy ( which those who don’t like to show emotion would equate it to ) the sympathetic reaction that occurs when someone near them has a truly violent explosion and regurgitates their meal.
The compulsion for Paul is to see people living under the burden of the law – either the Ten Commandments/Mosaic Law or the Natural Law – and living condemned by it. It is a situation he can remedy, for the gospel is indeed that which can address and remedy their desperate situation.
The question then, is , do we feel the same compulsion? Do we, who know the joy of being delivered by Christ, see those who have not been, as those in desperate need. Or do we walk away… not caring – not loving, ignoring their need the same why guys try not to cry at the end of a gut wrenching movie?
Maybe we need to reconsider… not their need, but exactly what we’ve been given.