Focal passage: 2 Corinthians 5:11, 14-21
When someone has passion about something, you can usually identify what that passion is in a matter of moments. Walk into a neighbor’s house and see what adorns their living room – are there pictures of grandchildren? Mounted deer heads? Antiques? Sports paraphernalia?
Listen to a person’s conversation and hear what they talk about the most (perhaps it’s golf, money, vacation, work or their faith).
We talk about and make much over the things that we love. If we are passionate about something, we’ll talk about it.
Paul was a passionate man, but his passion was for the Lord Jesus Christ and to make Him known. God has given us all unique personalities, talents and gifts, but regardless, He expects us to share the gospel.
If you are not excited and passionate about sharing the gospel, I challenge you to spend more time thinking about what the gospel actually is!
First, Paul was motivated to share the gospel by the “fear of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:11). Paul wasn’t saying that we should be afraid of God, but that because we have so much awe (respect) for God, we should be obedient to do what He has asked us to do. Moreover, we respect God because of what He has done for us. After all, it is “Christ’s love that compels us” (2 Corinthians 5:14), and “we no longer live for ourselves” (2 Corinthians 5:15) as Christians.
If God has done so much for us, our love for Him and our love for others should lead us to seek to persuade others to be reconciled to God.
After all, God has given us a “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). To reconcile means to bring two parties together into harmony.
A while back, I had the opportunity to intervene in a family dispute. There were two members of a family who were estranged. I love both of them, and God was able to use me to say something to one that caused him to reach out to his relative. As a result, they were reconciled and are again communicating with one another.
It was joy to me to see this happen, but it’s an even greater joy when we are instrumental in practicing our “ministry of reconciliation” (sharing the gospel) and seeing a rebellious sinner be reconciled to God.