Sep 28, 2012
That’s what he says in Romans 1:15 —
I am eager to preach the gospel.
EAGER. As in — “I am eager for dessert.”
Or — “I am eager for vacation.”
So Paul was motivated, excited, and passionate about sharing the Gospel with lost people.
Much of the time that’s not what I’m feeling.
But here’s the good news —
Paul doesn’t just tell us he’s eager — he tells us the reason why — so the Holy Spirit can use that reason to change our hearts.
What’s the reason?
Verse 15 begins with the word “so” —
SO I am eager to preach the Gospel.
That word “so” shows that the previous verse gives the reason why Paul is eager to evangelize.
What’s the reason? V.14 —
I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.
“Obligation” means owing a debt.
So Paul sees that he owes a debt to all the Gentiles.
What kind of debt?
Usually a debt means someone gives something to you which you need to pay back.
Like — the lender gives you money to buy a house — which you need to pay back.
But that can’t be what Paul means — because the Gentiles haven’t given him anything.
But there’s another kind of debt — where you have something of great value which others desperately need.
There’s an example in 2 Kings 7.
A feast for lepers
The town of Samaria was surrounded by enemy soldiers who were starving them into submission — and people were dying regularly.
But one evening four lepers said —
We are starving here in Samaria. Why not go out to the enemy soldiers? If they kill us — same as if we stayed here and starved. But maybe they’ll have mercy and feed us.
So that night they snuck out of the city and went to the enemy camp — and were shocked.
Turns out God had made the enemy soldiers hear what they thought was a massive chariot army attacking them.
So the enemy soldiers fled — leaving behind everything — food and drink and gold and silver.
So the starving lepers feasted and drank until they could eat and drink no more.
And then it dawned on them — they had an obligation to their city.
They owed a debt to their city.
Not because the city had given something to them which they needed to pay back.
But because they had something of great value which their city desperately needed.
Imagine you were one of the lepers — knowing where your starving city could get food.
You’d feel EAGER to tell them — because you have something of great value which they desperately need.
That’s why Paul was eager to tell others about Jesus Christ — because Christ was the infinite value they desperately needed.
What if I’m not feeling so eager?
When I’m not eager to share the Gospel – it’s usually because I am not feeling Christ’s infinite value – and I’m ignoring how desperately others need Him.
So try this —
Take a few minutes — and pray over all that you have in Christ –
- All of God’s wrath against you poured out upon Jesus (Isa 53:6)
- Complete forgiveness for all your sin — past, present, and future (Rom 8:1)
- A loving, all-powerful Father you can turn to with every fear, worry, concern (Psa 50:15)
- God’s power orchestrating every event to bring you even more joy in Him (Gen 50:20)
- God’s presence to satisfy you at every moment of every day (Psa 16:11)
Pray over these until you feel Christ’s infinite value.
Then think of someone who’s not a believer — and think about how desperately they need the Gospel —
- They face God’s wrath forever
- They live under the guilt of sin
- They have no heavenly Father to turn to
- They never experience full and lasting satisfaction
Pray over this until you feel their desperate state.
The more you feel Christ’s value and people’s desperate need — the more eager you will feel about sharing the Gospel.
Oh — one more thing …
What if they are not interested?
That possibility can squelch eagerness.
But here’s God’s promise —
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. I Peter 4:14
Whenever you share the Gospel — one of two things will always happen —
Either they will respond — and you will have the joy of leading a starving soul to the riches of Christ.
Or they will not — and the Holy Spirit will give you even more heart-satisfaction in feeling God’s glorious presence.
One of those will ALWAYS happen.
So — be eager to share the Gospel.
How does this affect you?
Do you feel eagerness growing? I’d love to hear — leave a reply below. Thanks!
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And here’s some related links you might find helpful —
Become A Fisher Of Men -- Guaranteed
A Different Way To Share The Gospel
How God Saved An Impossibly Hardened Atheist
How To Grow In Evangelistic Confidence And Compassion
(Picture is from everystockphoto.com by fyffe.)