Psalm 40:10 (Faithfulness - Week 1)
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.(ESV)
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. (NIV)
Read Full Passage HERE
Whoever undertook to preach the gospel of Christ, would be under great temptation to conceal it; but Christ, and those he calls to that work, are carried on in it. May we believe his testimony, trust his promise, and submit to his authority. - Matthew Henry
In such a polarized and divisive cultural climate that we find ourselves in, we may be tempted to conceal the Gospel. We conceal because all though our God is fully love and fully good, He is also fully just. Our present culture does not want an authority over them to judge the way they behave or have a say in what they do with themselves. So, for us to preach the Gospel, we have to swim against the current of political correctness and resist the temptation to pacify, water down, or outright muffle the Gospel so that we might not step on anyone's toes or be offensive. Our culture tells us that it’s unloving to share our beliefs with those who oppose and greatly unloving to say our beliefs are the only way, truth, and life. Although this is a tempting view on life, we know that in the command of the great commission, sharing the Gospel and salvation with the watching world is actually the most loving thing on this side of heaven. And on the contrary, not sharing Christ may even be described as hatred, as you conceal the way to eternal life from a dying world.
Or perhaps we fail to proclaim the Gospel because we are embarrassed or fear that others won’t take us seriously as this world moves away from religion and toward science as if the two aren’t connected. It could also be that we are scared of rejection or making things awkward. Satan whispers in our ears, “The bridge of this relationship will be burnt the minute you utter any of this religious nonsense.”
We often seem to think we must wait for the most optimal window and open the door to share the Gospel. If the setting, surroundings, demeanor, and conversation aren’t absolutely perfect for a Gospel conversation, we flee from any opportunity. Gospel proclamation is our enemy’s greatest enemy. Satan is the prince of this world, and when the children of mankind become children of God, he loses greatly. So, of course, he is going to make every effort to thwart any effort to share the good news of Christ with hardship, awkwardness, fear, and lies.
Does any of this hit home? If you are anything like me, it feels like it’s all of the above. So how do we combat our tendency to conceal rather than be broken vessels that reveal? We must fight our fears by replacing them with truth and perspective. So, here is an encouragement and truth to reflect on:
“For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” - 1 Corinthians 1:17-19
Paul has two important points to note here as we seek to fulfill the great commission by God’s grace. First, the burden is taken off of us to construct some unobjectionable, beautiful, and well worded call to the Gospel and repentance. This would just distract the hearer from the cross. No one was ever saved by a well-spoken Gospel message that a preacher wrote. Instead, each person is saved because God uses broken, flawed, weak vessels as vehicles through which His Gospel is proclaimed, and then His Holy Spirit does all the work. Secondly, it should be expected that the Gospel message will be foolish and offensive to the unbeliever. God is working against the world's wisdom as it is fractured and blurred. So since it is a given that the Gospel will be foolishness to the unbelieving until the Spirit has worked in them, let this not be an excuse in our hearts to not share.
The next truth to consider is that disciple-making requires feet. It requires you to get up and go. You must be sent. Scripture never says that people will be brought to you, that Gospel opportunity will fall in your lap, or that it will be easy. But it does say that there is a plentiful harvest, it does call you to go, and if you do, you will find the hurting and the lost, it does say that God will be by your side and on your side, and it calls the feet of those who bring the good news beautiful. You must go. You have been given the most beautiful gift, a gift of peace and salvation…now go and bring it to the world. We can no longer stand idly by expecting the work to get done; we must join in and be laborers of the plentiful harvest. God has invited you into a great calling. What is stopping you?
The broken and divided world around us desperately needs the good news. Not just any good news but THE Good News that is the Gospel! Are you willing to bring it to the world?
I pray these words soak into my heart so I may share the gospel more.
Thank you for this excellent and timely devotion. I have been praying and working at sharing the hope of the Gospel and am aware of how strong the enemy is against my feeble attempts. Thank you for the reminder of 1 Cor.1:17-19.
Beautiful message and and words of encouragement to share the gospel openly and with confidence that God is in control!