Woe Unto Me

For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!  For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

I Corinthians 9:16-17

Paul says in this passage, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel.”  Paul was obviously a preacher of the gospel.  He preached the gospel everywhere he went.  But he understood that preaching the gospel was not simply a “vocation” or a “job.”  It was his life.

He understood that preaching the gospel was what God had given him to do.  And, as such, he needed to do it.  It was not a matter of what he wanted or what was convenient to him.  It was put in him and there was nothing he could do to stop it.  His conscience would not have let him sleep if he neglected to do what God wanted him to do.

Jeremiah echoed his sentiments in the Old Testament: “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name.  But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forebearing, and I could not stay.”  Jeremiah even tried to not proclaim the words of the Lord.  But he just couldn’t do it.  There was something inside of him that would not allow him to stop.

We need to get to that point in our lives.  Not all of us are going to be pastors or “official” teachers of the Bible.  But all of us have been given a job to do.  All of us have been given people in our lives to be a witness to.  Are we carrying out that mission or are we ignoring it?

 

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