Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 1 Cor. 9:16
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that “to woe” is to express dread, distress, and despair—an orientation toward life with which I’m quite familiar, for I’ve certainly done my share of “woe-ing.” That’s why this small portion of the Word is so convicting and refreshing. Paul turns the image of woe upside down. “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”
Jesus, make us the kind of people, like Paul, who are so taken and captured with the gospel that all of life is impacted by the gospel—who you are, and what you’ve accomplished for us by your life death and resurrection.
Teach us more and more of the lyrics of the gospel—its rich theology permeating the entire Bible. Fill our hearts with the music of the gospel—its radical sweetness, generating peace, worship, and gratitude. Release our feet for the dance of the gospel—a missional lifestyle of giving and serving.
May our joys be defined by the incalculable riches of the gospel. May our thinking be shaped by the liberating truths of the gospel. May our dreams be fueled with the wondrous future of the gospel. May our hopes be bound up with the guaranteed advancing of the gospel. May our peace be strengthened by the resurrection power of the gospel.
May our choices be regulated by the kingdom priorities of the gospel. May our satisfaction be intensified by the fruit-bearing presence of the gospel. May our woes be primarily determined by how little we “get” of the gospel.
We’re not all gospel preachers, in terms of gifts and calling, but every follower of Jesus is to be a consumer and conduit of the gospel of your grace and kingdom. Forgive us, Jesus, when we waste our woes by feasting on our disappointments and criticizing others. So very Amen I pray, in your peerless and powerful name.