Have you ever heard such good news you couldn’t help telling everyone you saw? From its beginning, the Jesus movement was “evangelistic” – got the good news OUT. (Greek – eu means “good” or “beautiful” and angelia means “message.”) Jesus taught his disciples that, when it came to the gifts of God, they were conduits, rather than cul de sacs. There was plenty of grace to go around. Then, when the risen Jesus commissioned his disciples he made it clear again: “Go… and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28.16-20) and “you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1.8)
People like Paul didn’t need to be told twice. The Apostle was a runaway gospel machine. He planted churches across the Mediterranean basin, made it finally to Italy, and died planning to take the good news to Spain.
Paul’s passion was contagious. Paul’s Christians spread the word, even when it was risky. To his infant church in Thessalonica he wrote, “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place where your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it.”
This kind of passion is worth catching. Let’s read on!