Kyle Kuest – CLI Resident
St. Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary use words.” As a young believer I used to hear this quote all the time in church, on retreats, at school, and at the Christian University I attended. The one question that has puzzled me about this quote is, how do I preach the Gospel at all times when a large amount of my time is spent by myself? When I am alone at work how do I preach the Gospel? When I am home alone when my wife is out with friends how do I preach the Gospel? When I am driving to work how do I preach the Gospel? The simple answer is, preach the Gospel to yourself.
Why do we preach the Gospel to ourselves?
I don’t know if you are like me but daily I wrestle with this condemning voice in my head. This voice accuses me of being a failure almost relentlessly. This voice is constantly at war with what Jesus tells me in his word. Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore there is no longer condemnation for those who are in Christ.” Preaching this truth to myself quiets the voices in my head that seek to turn me away from this truth.
How do we preach the Gospel to ourselves?
- Know the Gospel
The primary way to preach the Gospel to ourselves is to know the Gospel. The word Gospel simply means “good news.” The good news of the Gospel is that Christ died on your behalf and he now sits in Heaven as an advocate and intercessor for all those who put their faith in Him. The good news is, you no longer have to live a blameless life because someone already did that for you. You are now forgiven for all the times in your life where you have messed up or fallen short of God’s standard.
- Set aside time for solitude
Make time to sit and be still before God. It is my belief that we often feel God is being silent when in reality we aren’t giving Him time to speak. Create time on a regular basis for being silent and allow God to speak truth into your life. God may speak through thoughts, feelings, songs, or Bible passages. I have found that God usually speaks in ways that are unique to each individual.
- Spend time in worship
When we sing songs that refocus our hearts and minds back on the Gospel message it allows God to convict, encourage, protect, comfort, and heal us.
- Serve others
The Gospel teaches that we need to place ourselves last and serve other people around us. By serving we place ourselves in an environment that constantly reminds us of this truth. Service keeps our prideful, selfish hearts in check.
Why is it essential that we preach the Gospel to ourselves? Why can’t we rely on someone else to preach the Gospel to us?
While it is important and even essential that we surround ourselves with people who preach the Gospel to us, the reality is that you are the only person who is able to constantly preach the Gospel to yourself. No one spends as much time with you as you do. You are the most qualified person for this job. Think about it this way: if you rely on others, you may hear the Gospel a couple times a day at the very best. Ephesians 6:10-20 says that the Gospel is the full armor of God, something that has to be consciously put on daily, hourly, even minute by minute at times. In those times as believers we shouldn’t have to wait for a friend to come and help us put on that armor. We have to be equipped to do that ourselves.
Click here for the photo credit on this post
“That God would tell me to “take up” and “put on” this Gospel armor alerts me to the fact that I do not automatically come into each day protected by the Gospel. In fact, these commands imply that I am vulnerable to defeat and injury unless I seize upon the Gospel and arm myself with it from head to toe. And what better way is there to do this than to preach the Gospel to myself and to make it the obsession of my heart throughout each day?” – Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer for Christians
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:13-17