Monday, July 26, 2010

The Onward Advancement of the Gospel

Now I want I want you yo know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. –Philippians 1:12-14 

I have never been to Alaska or Northern Canada, but one could travel there and in certain parts of those regions see huge and awesome glaciers.  These glaciers can form between mountains and on mountain sides, and they grow larger over time from the accumulation of snow and ice.  Something I have read about these incredible natural formations is that they are always moving forward.  You may not be able to see it, but they move slowly over time.  What moves these glaciers forward is their weight and power; a power and force that cannot be stopped.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is also a force that advances.  The gospel is ever moving forward, sometimes quickly, but at others times slower to the point that people might wonder if it’s moving at all.  However, the gospel is always moving forward and always advancing regardless of whether or not people can see its progress.  As followers of Christ we are a vital part of the advancement of the gospel.  The gospel of Jesus Christ touches peoples’ lives, changes them for the better, always makes a positive difference, and is ever moving forward. 

Can the gospel of Christ be stopped or slowed down?  It certainly cannot.  Might someone be able to stop an earthquake, a tidal wave, a hurricane, a tornado, or a glacier?  The answer is no.  The gospel of Jesus Christ moves onward, it progresses, and through faith in Christ we are empowered to be a part of it.
Paul the Apostle rejoiced that even though he was a prisoner and in chains, the gospel continued to be spread and to grow.  He understood that the gospel would go forward by the power of God and not by human design.  In fact, Paul put his faith into action by letting the difficult circumstances he was facing work to further his witness for Jesus.  Like Paul, we too can seek the Lord’s help is using whatever situations we are facing to be stronger and more effective witnesses for Christ.

The troubled soul can find comfort in knowing that we are of tremendous value to God in the furtherance of the gospel, and that can happen no matter the trials or hardships we face.  Take heart, and know that you are useful and valuable to the Lord.  Let us resolve to be a part of the blessed work of the gospel, which is sharing the love of Christ with a lost and hurting world.

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