DayBreaks for 01/31/12 – Living the Full Gospel
8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ – Luke 10:8-9
What is the gospel? When you hear the word, what do you think of? How about when you hear the word “evangelism”? Do you envision someone knocking on your door to tell you that Jesus loves you? Or greeting you on the street and warning you that you’ll go to hell if you don’t accept Jesus?
Of course, the word “gospel” means good news. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like good news, do you? I mean, who wouldn’t like the Publisher’s Clearing House van pulling up in front of their house to tell you that you’re the grand prize winner? Most of us would think that is good news, right?
And it is good news that Jesus loves us. It is! And when you find out that you’ve “won” the favor of God (not because of what you have done, but simply because of what He has done), that is far better news than winning the grand prize from PCH!
I wonder, though, if we really understand the gospel. This past Sunday, a guest speaker from Sao Paulo, Brazil, made a statement that I think bears repeating. He said we are to live the gospel in word, and in deed. What did he mean?
I grew up with a lot of emphasis being placed on sharing the Word…telling people the story, doing my best to convince them of their need to accept Christ’s free gift of salvation. To me, that was what the gospel was – proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor. But that’s just a part of it. When Jesus sent the disciples out in Luke 10, he told them to proclaim the message: “The Kingdom of God is near you,”, i.e., share the Word about the joyous news. But what else did they do? They cast out demons and healed the sick. That’s the other part of the gospel – the “deed” part.
Have we focused so much on the Word side of the gospel that we’ve neglected the “deed” side? If so, we’re not fully representing the gospel to the world and the world is a poorer place for it.
PRAYER: Let us speak the word, and live the gospel deeds before the world by your enabling Spirit! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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