Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.
- Acts 8.4
I take this to be a measure of my faith in the Trinity that, without regard to danger, I make known God’s gift and the eternal comfort He provides: that I spread God’s name everywhere dutifully and without fear, so that after my death I may leave a legacy to so many thousands of people – my brothers and sons whom I have baptized in the Lord.
- Patrick, Confession, Irish, 5th century
Somewhere Michael Green referred to those believers who created this first tsunami of evangelistic fervor as going about everywhere “gossiping the Gospel.”
They didn’t have a program; they weren’t “trained”; and nobody was overseeing their efforts so he could fill out some report form for denominational headquarters. These folks, as Susie reminded me recently, had already committed all their property to the Lord, so there were no entanglements keeping them from fleeing.
But why would they flee? Jesus. So what else would we expect them to talk about! He was all they had, all they wanted, all they hoped for, and all they could think about. No wonder He just flowed out of their speech, wherever they went.
That was Patrick’s experience, too. He was so grateful to Jesus and walked so closely with Him, that preaching Jesus was the most natural thing in the world for him. Indeed, as he says, his witness for the Lord was “a measure” of his faith in God. His zeal for telling others about Christ, even at the risk of personal danger, was such that it persuaded him his call was sure, his faith was real, and his mission could not fail.
Man, what I’d give for that fire of “gossiping the Gospel” to ignite among the followers of Christ in our day! Patrick measured his faith by his witness. By what do we measure ours?
The first believers fled their property because of Christ and sowed the seeds of a new worldview – a world turned right-side up for Jesus.
What seeds are we sowing each day? Those of the moth-and-rust-vulnerable world, or those of the eternal Kingdom?
Psalm 116.10-14 (Mit Freuden Zart: “All Praise to God Who Reigns Above”)
Afflicted, I believe His Word, though lying men would undo me.
What shall I render to the Lord for all His blessings to me?
Salvation’s cup I lift above and call upon the God of love
And pay my vows most truly.
Lord, be on my heart and in my mind, that I may share the Good News of Your love everywhere and most dutifully. Adapted from Patrick, Confession
T. M. Moore, Principal