Preaching the gospel
What do you think of when I say, ‘preach the gospel’? Sounds churchy, right? Can you picture a pastor standing behind a pulpit quoting words of scripture? Maybe he’s recounting the sacred life of Christ, His death and resurrection. Or how about your mother or a teacher preaching to you about your behavior and its consequences? Ugh. Yet when you read the New Testament you’ll find that phrase used in many references, over 30 times, and often about Christ Himself. Now, if He was preaching the gospel then it wasn’t the story of His death and resurrection. He hadn’t died yet! Then what was He saying? That’s a significant question. Let’s look at it a little closer.
Remember last week that the gospel is good news? Of course it is what Jesus accomplished for you on the cross but in a bigger picture it is what He is doing for you right now! Preaching the gospel is talking about Jesus. It’s telling others, who may need a word of encouragement, what God has done for you. The phrase used in Matthew 11 and Luke 4 is that Jesus preached the gospel to the poor. I don’t think that means financially poor. I think it’s referring to those who are poor in spirit: tired, hopeless, or spiritually depleted. Spiritually poor are those who have reached a point in their life where they have been humbled by circumstances and ultimately by God. People in your life who are down, depressed, or discouraged could be in place to hear the Good News. Preaching the gospel isn’t limited to the podium or center stage, it’s a simple word of hope. God loves you. If He’ll help me, then He’ll help you. Plain and simple. I like that, don’t you? If you have time this week take a look at Romans 10:14-15, it speaks of being beautiful when you share the Good News with someone. Be beautiful to one who needs you this week.