Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary use words.—Misattributed to St. Francis of Assisi
We had a fire in our house some years ago. A halogen lamp fell over onto our son’s bed. We were sleeping downstairs when the alarm sounded. I ran upstairs and saw flames up to the ceiling.
I threw open the windows and threw stuff outside. The smoke was brutal, the alarm deafening, and the house was freezing, but we finally got the fire out. Suddenly, it occurred to me to look for our other son, Liam. But he was nowhere to be found. Panicked, I rushed into his room, and there he was—sound asleep.
We had a family meeting later that day that went like this, “The next time there is a fire, everyone is in charge of waking up Liam. That’s the MOST important thing—making sure Liam has heard the alarm.”
This is what Jesus is saying to those He left unhealed. “I have to go. There are some who haven’t heard yet. They are still sleeping. I must wake them with the Gospel of grace. It is the reason I came.”
You’ve heard it said we should preach the Gospel at all times and, if necessary—use words. I’m telling you it’s necessary. Use words.
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. (Luke 4:22, emphasis mine)
If we are surrendered to Jesus, and He expresses Himself through us, then the words we use to preach the Gospel will sound like the words Jesus used—words of grace.
What do words of grace sound like? I think they sound like this, “Hey, Jesus loves you, He wants to save you, and He wants to bring you into a life of fullness and meaning.”
Jesus’ MOST important thing was to preach the Good News of God’s grace. If it was important to Jesus, it’s important to us.
Lord, I am so grateful for Your love. Thank You for saving me and for bringing me into a life of fullness and meaning. Make me courageous in my conversations. Let there always be an invitation to grace upon my lips. I ask Your Spirit to live through me with tenderness and perseverance as we partner together to make sure everyone has heard the Good News. Amen.
Learn more from Pete’s teaching on Luke, What Will Jesus Do?