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To the apostles, Jesus said, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation" (Mk. 16:15). "Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word" (Ac. 8:4 NKJV). Having read these and other similar texts many times, most of us realize that we have a responsibility to help spread the gospel. Unfortunately, most of us also have a past that leaves much room for improvement in our fulfillment of this responsibility. And this is not only a work for individuals; it is also a part of the congregational (or "together") aspect of Christianity. In fact, there is no greater work that a congregation can do than the work of evangelism. Each local church should communicate the gospel to as many people as possible.
Doing the Lord's will in carrying the gospel to the world requires both motivation (the "why" of evangelism) and method (the "how" of evangelism). Obviously, we are to do the Lord's work in the Lord's way, and that means we must study and learn and work to develop the skills necessary to get the job done. But we'll hardly acquire those skills if we don't have the necessary motivation. If there is not within us the desire to reach the lost, we won't carry out the Great Commission. Since the work is hard, we need to be highly motivated.
When we find ourselves discouraged or apathetic, we should remember that desire is something that can be developed. We can encourage one another. We can spend time thinking about what our priorities ought to be as Christians. We can consider the example of brethren in other congregations. We can sing songs about the work of evangelism. We can think about what it cost the Lord to make the gospel a reality. And we can study our Bibles and pray that the Lord will help us to desire His work in a greater way. These are but a few of the things we can do to strengthen our motivation as evangelists, and it would only take a moment to think of other ideas as well.
In everything that relates to the gospel, it always helps to count our blessings. In the final analysis, there's simply no greater motivation than gratitude for God's grace. If we're grateful for the blessings that we ourselves enjoy in Christ, the first thing we'll want to do is share those blessings with other people. Let's be grateful evangelists!
Monday: Mark 16:15,16
Key Idea: Christ commanded His disciples to spread the gospel throughout the world.
Questions for Family Growth: What is the "gospel"? Why is it important for the gospel to be preached to "the whole creation"? If the goal is to preach the gospel to the world, how far does our personal responsibility extend?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 25:18.
Tuesday: Ezekiel 33:1-9
Key Idea: It is a serious failure when spiritual disaster is coming and we don't warn others.
Questions for Family Growth: What is the duty of a "watchman"? What does he have control over, and what does he not have control over? How is this passage sobering to us in the matter of evangelism? How is it encouraging to us?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 25:19.
Wednesday: Acts 8:1-4
Key Idea: The early Christians preached the gospel wherever they went.
Questions for Family Growth: Did persecution stop the early Christians from talking to others about Christ? Why not? When difficulties arise, are we excused from our responsibilities as evangelists? In 1 Cor. 16:8,9, why did Paul say he was going to remain in Ephesus?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 25:20.
Thursday: 1 Thessalonians 1:8
Key Idea: Each congregation of Christians should "sound forth" the gospel.
Questions for Family Growth: Should we aspire to be known as the Thessalonians were known by their brethren in other places? What are some practical ways that a congregation can "sound forth" the word of the Lord? What should be our motivation in this work?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 25:21,22.
Friday: 3 John 5-8
Key Idea: It is a privilege and a joy to be "fellow workers for the truth."
Questions for Family Growth: In vv.5-7, what did John encourage his brethren to do? In v.8, how did he say they could be "fellow workers for the truth"? In Phil. 1:3-5, what did Paul say the Philippians had done?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 25:23.