Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16, NKJV)
I was reading from one of my favorite publications this morning, The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, and I was struck by the passion of those who preach the gospel in lands of persecution.
I read of a man who lives in the forest, running for his life from those who would kill him for no other reason than that he is a Christian and tells others of his Savior. Separated from family and friends, his only lifeline is his cell phone, which he uses whenever he has a signal to preach to two different house churches. I then read of people who escaped the terrors of North Korea and now devote their time to launching gospel messages in balloons to fly over their former homeland, in hopes that they will land where those still trapped in darkness will read the Good News and turn to the Light of the world.
Wow. All I could think of was how much time and energy I spend as a writer trying to “get the word out”—to market my books to potential readers. True, I need to do that if I believe in the message of my books, for what’s the point if I write them and no one reads them? But do I even begin to have the passion for preaching the gospel that these precious men and women in other countries exhibit as they take their life in their hands to reach others?
May it be so, God, for each of us, regardless of whether we write books, drive a truck, or perform brain surgery! Light the fire in us, Father, until we too proclaim with passion, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!”