Extra mile for the sake of the gospel
TEXT: 2 Corinthians 11:23–26
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 9:23, “I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (NIV)
Extra mile is an unpopulated wasteland; it is a lonely place but a place of opportunity and fulfilment. Very few people go there and they don’t come back. People who will achieve great success as the New Year unfolds are people who will consistently ask themselves this question: What extra mile can I do? Extra mile is usually not easy and painful but it rewards significantly.
Paul went the extra mile for the sake of the Gospel. Paul was always more than happy to share good news about Jesus Christ to anyone that would listen. Paul said he is not ashamed to take the gospel of Christ to the streets, despite the shame he was put through for the sake of the gospel.
What is it that preaching the gospel cost Paul? 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 threw light on what it cost Paul for the sake of the gospel. Paul was mad for the gospel, laboured more than others for the gospel, was put in prison more often, whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Paul was beaten three times with the roman rods for preaching Christ. The Jewish leaders gave him thirty-nine lashes on his body, he was stoned and three times, he experienced shipwrecked.
For the sake of the gospel, Paul slept in the sea for a day and night. He was blasted with cold because of lack of clothing to cover his body; was hungry and thirsty countless times; spent sleepless lonely nights; faced robbers who made away with his personal belongings and faced dangers in the cities, sea and deserts. He was betrayed by people who claimed to be fellow believers; embarked on long journey and faced danger from his own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles whom he went to preach to.
To go extra mile for the sake of the Gospel, we must be willing to pay the price, no matter what it may cost us. The Gospel cost the early apostles and missionaries their lives, yet they counted it not as loss but gain. Paul was willing to put up with anything for the sake of the Gospel. He even denied himself the right of receiving financial entitlement for the sake of the Gospel. Paul said, “…. On the contrary, we put up with anything, rather than hinder the gospel of Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:12b).
We should give our full commitment for the sake of the gospel and no half measures are allowed. Preaching the gospel is a trust committed to all believers in Christ. Paul said he would rather die than not preach the gospel. He said: “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16b).
Going the extra mile for sake of the gospel will cost us subjecting our flesh under discipline, but it has eternal reward. Paul said we discipline our body for the sake of the Gospel, so that we will get a crown that will last forever (1 Corinthians 9:25b).
We should firmly defend and stand up for the Gospel. When it is attacked, defend it with the truth (Sword of the Gospel). Don’t keep quiet, when the Gospel is under attack. You don’t fight but speak up. Let your voice be heard and don’t be afraid of public opinion and people speaking profanity against the gospel. Jesus said if you are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of you in Heaven.
• Today’s Nugget: Go the extra mile for the Gospel. Prayer: ‘Lord, help me to stand up for the Gospel of Christ.’ Prayer lines: 09078154261. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God, Nigeria.
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