Everywhere that he went the noble man preached the Gospel. And it pleased the people because his teaching was adorned by eloquence and enforced by examples of virtue.
- Jonas, Life of St. Columban, Italian, 7th century
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
- Matthew 4.23
Jesus’ approach to making known the Good News of the Kingdom of God was to live it and to proclaim it.
The coming of the Kingdom brought a new reality to human experience, with new power, new focus, new resources, and new hope. It is not enough merely to explain this to people; they must see it, experience it, taste it, and see that the Lord and His Kingdom are good.
When Columbanus arrived in Gaul (France) in 585 AD, where the faith of Christ was languishing, he went all about preaching the Gospel with clarity and eloquence and, together with his small band of monks, doing good to everyone they could.
The combination of clear and compelling preaching and undeniable power in loving was persuasive. People flocked to Columbanus by the thousands. He founded a monastery to train missionary/monks, and it soon overflowed, leading him to found another.
People are drawn by the Gospel when they can both see and hear it. Neither alone is sufficient, as Jesus demonstrated in His own ministry.
Churches – which are the Body of Christ in their community – must labor to show themselves servants to their neighbors, reaching out in Kingdom love and power to meet people at the point of their need, to alleviate their suffering and want, and to demonstrate the beauty and joy of the Kingdom in various ways. And they must preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, Good News that begins in repentance, calls for faith, and issues in hope and a transformed life.
The same is true of each of us, in our own Personal Mission Field. We must live the new reality of Christ’s Kingdom, so that, when we proclaim it, our lives will bear testimony to the truth of what we preach. If we truly hope in the unseen things of Christ and and His Kingdom, that hope will show in our demeanor and conversations (1 Pet. 3.15). Our hope lived will open doors for us to proclaim our hope in Jesus, using our own testimony to lead into the Good News of Jesus.
Our generation is tired of Christians who merely talk a good game. Talk without works of love will not persuade. Works of love without Kingdom proclamation will only deceive. Both are needed, as Jesus demonstrated, and Columbanus knew.
If we ever find a way to get back to a Gospel of word and deed, we might once again begin to make some headway for the Kingdom among the people of our generation.
1. What opportunities for showing the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Kingdom will you have today?
2. With whom will you share a word about Jesus today?
Psalm 26.1-3 (Aberystwythe: Jesus, Lover of My Soul)
Vindicate me, Lord on high; I have walked within Your Word.
Never wav’ring, though I sigh, I have trusted You, O Lord!
Prove me, Lord, prove even me! Test my heart and try my mind.
Let Your steadfast mercy be in the path for me to find.
Lord, show me what I must do today to live and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus, so that I…
We are called to know the joy of the Lord and to bring that joy to our world. Our booklet, Joy to Your World!, can help you identify your own mission field, and show you how to be a more joyful and gracious presence there. You can order a free copy of Joy to Your World! When you order, we’ll include a copy of the booklet, The Gospel of the Kingdom. Just click here.
This Way to Courage
If you’re not following our current ReVision study on “Encouragement,” here’s a link to all the installments. You can download each one for free, and learn to grow in courage and to help others do so as well.
We pray that, if Crosfigell ministers to you, you’ll consider sharing with us in the financial support of our ministry. If the Lord moves you to give, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
T. M. Moore
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Jonas, p. 20.