The Gospel is important and urgent
The Lord led me to tell my story for His glory through blogging. But I got derailed from that path and thought it was wise to attend to my physical needs first. By God’s grace and mercy, He brought me back on track and taught me to prioritize things that have eternal value.
Wanting to further understand His instruction, I asked, “So how do I go about my daily activities?”
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25)
“Of course!” I laughed at my silliness.
“Is not life more than food?” echoed in my mind.
Having my basic needs secured, I was concerned with my secondary needs. But how about the spiritual needs of others? Is not eternal life more important than the needs of the body which will eventually turn to dust? It’s not that physical needs are unimportant but which is more vital? Which should be prioritized? Even if God takes everything from me in this life, my eternity with Him is secured. But how about those who have everything in this life yet doesn’t have Jesus in their lives? Is not life more than any of my concerns?
Then He reminded, “Urgency of the Gospel.”
I froze as I took in what He just said. “I’ve forgotten its urgency?!”
“Because you’re busy with trivial matters.” He reasoned bringing me to my senses.
Is my work and providing for myself more important than proclaiming the Gospel and testifying for Jesus to the whole world? Is the purpose of my existence primarily to make money that I would even set aside the Gospel and consider it of secondary importance over my work? Did God ever lack provision for me and my family that I would do such a thing?!
I regarded my responsibility to “work for an income” as more important and urgent than the Gospel. I allowed world values and social norms to dictate which I should prioritize. I considered what is central as peripheral and peripheral as central. And didn’t even notice it! How foolish can I get? Indeed, the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God. What I thought as wise and right thing to do, out of the best of my human reason, is ultimately foolishness. Only God’s grace and loving correction enabled me to understand which is truly wise.
It’s high time to be awake!
One of the many passages that talk about the urgency of the Gospel:
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11 NIV)
I’m always amazed whenever I check the original Greek text and meaning of keywords because it gives more context, depth, and clarity. I would like to share some of those with you.
The Apostle Paul said, “And do this, understanding the present time.” Understand (eidó) here means to see in order to know or perceive which bridges understanding. And present time (kairos) means not just time in itself but time as an opportunity, the fitting season, the suitable time, the right or favorable moment. Seeing with our eyes for us to be aware and understand so as to take full advantage of the opportune time. Knowing the time.
And what time is it? The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber. It’s time to wake up from sleep.
“Immediate action is called for; it’s time for us to act. It’s a call to understand there’s something we’re supposed to be busy doing. It’s a call to take a look at priorities. It’s a call to see what you’re doing with your life. This is not the time for sleeping and slumbering and loafing. This is the time to be alert; time to wake up, time to get your priorities right. There are some pressing, demanding things at hand in the light of the imminence of the dawn.” – MacArthur, John. Sermon: “Time to Wake Up” Grace to You.
Why is Paul urging us to be awake? Because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
“We as Christians are nearer to the return of Jesus Christ than when we first believed. Paul is making reference to the return of Christ for His Church and to the return of Christ with regard to judgment. In light of the fact, it’s time to get your priorities right. It’s time to wake up. This is no time to be slumbering and sleeping. This is a time for alertness. In other words, you’ve got to live in the light of the return of Jesus Christ.
The urgency of that moment should compel us to wake up and get out of the night of this era of man’s day into the sobriety, the sober-minded establishment of the priorities that matter eternally.
There are things in life we must do by way of necessity but our lives need to be filled with the comprehension of the priorities.
This is intended to have a two-fold effect on us, to make us urgent in our service to Christ and urgent in our evangelism of the lost. And I really believe it’s the key to holy living. People who don’t live in the light of the return of Christ don’t have the most compelling motivation. We must live in the light that Jesus Christ could come at any moment.” – MacArthur, John. Sermon: “Time to Wake Up” Grace to You.
Responding to the need
Would there be a change in our activity if, for example, we knew that Jesus would be coming back today? No doubt! There’d be drastic changes; we would all prepare. But He told us to always be ready and to keep our lamps burning because the Son of Man will come at an hour we do not expect. Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” What we do know is He is coming soon. And now is the opportune time He has given us to proclaim the Gospel and to live according to His will.
I remember stories on how the Lord used the period of Hellenization and the invention of the printing press to spread the Gospel and how Christians took advantage of those fitting seasons. Now we’re in the season of the Information Age and New Media. I want to be one of those who takes advantage of these opportunities to spread the Gospel.
Though many question the wisdom and even Biblicality of my decision to leave my work for blogging, I’d rather be called foolish than be a slave to empty pursuits. The Lord has given me freedom to do what He has placed in my heart to do by opening my eyes and allowing me to understand His truth. Should I not choose that freedom to obey?
“For the sake of Your Name, Lord, and for the sake of those who will believe, I will do as You told me. You’ve given me an opportunity to proclaim Your Name to the ends of the earth even in the comfort of my home, while others sacrifice their lives, employment, and family, who am I to say no to You? Because You made it clear to me, I will do this. Your affirmation is all I need because You have the first and final word in everything.” This is the cry of my heart.
As I finish my devotional (a personal time for reading and studying the Bible, praying, and journaling), God gave a practical answer to my question. He reminded me of what He taught me to do in 2014. How wise is the Lord! He has prepared me for this a long time ago.
I’m also grateful for my very supportive family, though they’ve yet to understand what I’m doing and the message I’m writing. Through this experience, God is enabling me to see and appreciate their efforts and language of love.
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelations 22:20)
Stick around for more of this 6-part story series: Unconventional Calling
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