My devotion for today centered around 1 Corinthians 9:16:
“If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel.” (NRSV)
Paul, in writing to the church at Corinth, wants to be very clear that his mission is to proclaim the gospel. His mission is not to establish church doctrine, although he did do that. This was secondary. Whenever people tried to corner him on some point, as this church was trying to do, he would make clear that this was not his mission. His mission was to preach the gospel. This gospel that Paul speaks of is summed up in John 1:29. John the Baptist sees Jesus and observes: “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” (NSRV)
As I thought about this it occurred to me that if we, the body of Christ, had as our focus proclaiming the gospel, much work could be accomplished in building the kingdom of God. Think about it. How much money and time have been spent trying to resolve points of theology and doctrine? That is time and money that did not get spent on kingdom building. Instead, the kingdom suffers because we have become divided over these things and have neglected proclaiming the gospel.
I see new light coming out of this time of dealing with Covid 19. There is new focus. Maybe, just maybe, we can reclaim proclaiming the gospel: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
Lord, forgive us for losing our way. Lead us anew. Amen.
Always, to God be the glory!