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What do you love most about being a Christian? The peace, the joy, the sense of purpose? Being part of a faith community?
Many would answer the fellowship, the love and care they have for one another. Some might describe their new life in Christ as one wonderfully different to the path they once followed. Hopefully, all of us would talk about our new relationship with God and how thankful we are to Him for the things He is doing in our lives.
But how much do we love sharing the Gospel – or even thinking about it? We are, of course, grateful for Christ’s death on the cross and humbled by the sacrifice he made for us, but how much does that translate into deep reflection and real, effective action? Is it a tag-on to the fun we have with Christian friends or is it at the core of everything we do?
‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel’, said the apostle Paul, ‘because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes’ (Rom 1: 16).
Paul knew what it was like to develop close bonds with others throughout the churches he planted. He described his ‘intense longing’ to see those in his care separated from him for a season (1 Thess 2: 17) and he made a long list of special friends and fellow workers in the 16th chapter of Romans, but he never stopped putting the Gospel first in his heart and in his life. Even when he was locked up in prison the uppermost thing in his mind was that the gospel would not be hindered: ‘The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached’ (Phil 1: 17).
Someone once said, ‘the church exists for the benefit of its non-members’. I’m challenged by that. There are so many things I love about being a Christian but, at the end of the day, there is a world out there full of people who are yet to experience a loving relationship with their Father in Heaven. And if we don’t make the introduction, who will?
We may not all be evangelists but we can pray for the lost; we may not all have the gift of the gab but we can be a friend to someone who needs God; we may not feel we are that good at articulating our faith, but we can invite our friend to an event where the Gospel will be preached by someone who does have that gift.
Do you love the Gospel? Do you love it as much as the benefits and blessings of being a Christian? Let’s ask the Lord to rekindle a passion for the Gospel in our hearts – and to keep doing it. There’s a world out there that needs His message more than ever.