“...that I may gain Christ and be found in him...”—Philippians 3:8-9, NIV1984

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Stewardship of the Gospel

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”—Colossians 1:24-29 ESV

Paul joyfully accepted whatever hardship, suffering, and trials came his way, because he knew the urgency and the gravity of the message that he was to proclaim. He understood that it was his life’s purpose to make known to the known world the mystery of salvation through the work of Christ which God had been working toward and foreshadowing for millennia.

Now that the message is clear, the significance of it without measure, and the opposing forces only conquerable through the power of Christ at work within the Church, how could Paul, and how can we neglect the stewardship of the Good News that God has entrusted to us? This is a time like no other, where the mystery of Christ in us, transforming us and reconciling us to God, has been clearly revealed. We don’t all have the same way of proclaiming the Good News, but we do all have the responsibility to toil and struggle with power from God, no matter what worldly thing we may lose in the process, to contribute to, take part in, and support the work of proclaiming the gospel and building the Church. If every believer lived life with this mindset, it would not take long to reach the entire world.