I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith”
— Romans 1:14–17
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
— John 20:21
Changing the world seems like a daunting task for me. Even more basic than that, sharing the gospel seems like a daunting task sometimes. The fact that I know that Jesus has commanded that I share the gospel and go into the world does not make it any easier. I feel pressure, and sometimes guilt, mostly because I feel inadequate to complete the task at hand.
In Romans 1:14–15, Paul really sets the bar, acknowledging first that he has an “obligation” to preach the gospel (which is the part of the scripture that I can relate to), but then he goes a step further and says that he is “eager” to do so. (This is the part that escapes me sometimes.)
Thanks a lot, Paul. Way to rub it in.
Paul starts from a different place than me. He says that he is not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for salvation. He says that, in it, the righteousness of God is revealed (Romans 1:16–17). So why do I struggle? Because when I go to change the world, I don’t feel like I am revealing the power of God and his righteousness to a lost and dying world. I cringe because I might be a slight inconvenience to my friends and neighbors, and I don’t want to make them feel bad about themselves or think that I am judging them. It sounds ridiculous, even as I am typing it. People are going to hell, and I’m more worried about how they will feel and what they will think of me if I tell them how to avoid it. Sounds lame, I know. But every time I share my faith, I have to battle these thoughts.
At the end of the day, here is the truth: I am called by God to a specific task and given the gifts to fulfill that task. I am perfectly equipped through his spirit to complete that. The same is true for you. You are not wasted or less than. When you do what God has asked, you are revealing the power of God and his righteousness to the world. And that is an amazing thing to see.
So, as we start the week, I have no idea what God has in store for you or me. But let’s commit to focusing on the power of God and his righteousness. Let’s meditate on who he is, so that we can approach every opportunity to share, to give, to serve and to love, not only out of obligation, but out of eagerness.