Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10 (Mark 8:35)

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.  (ESV)

Two and two equal four.  Your house is on fire.  What is the difference between those two sentences?  The first is mere information, but the second is news, an announcement.  You are free to keep information to yourself, think about it, act on it if you wish.  News, on the other hand, requires a response.  Not to act on an announcement is to betray responsibility to the message, its messenger, and its author.

The Greek word for “gospel” is sometimes translated “good news,” and this quite literal.  Euaggelion means a good announcement.  In other words, it is more like “your house is on fire” than “two and two equal four.”  It is news that demands to be shared from person to person, from one town to the next.  When it comes to sharing the good news of Jesus, evangelism is not an option.

Just ask the Christians in Iraq.  They are not just losing their lives for the sake of the gospel.  They are being butchered for it.  They are being crucified, beheaded, and cut in half for it.  And that includes their children.  While our Iraqi brothers and sisters are meeting the Lord by the most gruesome of means, are we willing to risk a bit of social awkwardness with colleagues, friends, and family, to tell them about Jesus?

Lord, protect those under persecution this day.  Strengthen them in their faith.  May their suffering and death be a witness to their killers of Your love and grace.  May their sacrifice motivate me out of my comfort zone into the battle to save lives by spreading the gospel.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Who suffered all for me, amen.

Copyright © 2014 by Steven R. Perkins

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