Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 2 Timothy 1:8-12 ESV
In our “Gospel Centered” saturated culture, I find it fascinating that while everything we do is more “gospely” (forgive my made up word) we are still bad evangelist for the most part. We claim to have gospel-centered marriages, families, friendships, ministries, etc. BUT we aren’t telling/reminding people in those areas that Jesus came back from the dead and is establishing His kingdom. Which immediately discounts the gospel-centered title we’ve given any of our areas of influence. We are not unaware of the reasons: laziness, fear (probably the greatest culprit), or selfishness all keep us from having truly gospel-centered lives. To have a gospel-centered life is to check our fear, pride, and passivity towards the good news of Jesus, and to boldly proclaim it (with excitement and conviction) to those that don’t know the good news and to those who too often forget. When we are no longer afraid, lay down our pride, and active in our sharing of the good news, we should be ready to witness the power and influence of the Kingdom of Heaven in all areas of our life.
We should strive to be a true people of the gospel that are in love with the theology behind what Christ did and is doing, and also a people that are going out to share this amazing story. It's easy to stay in the celebratory mode with other believers who are experiencing the same levels of sanctification and joy, and that is a good thing! Don't hear me saying otherwise on that. God intends for us to spend time in those spaces, just not to stay there forever. We see evidence of this early in Acts. The church was thriving and growing like crazy, which was great, but at the same time they weren't taking the good news to the nations yet. God allowed persecution to come, the church dispersed as a result, and the gospel was shared at a tremendous rate. What I'm proposing is not waiting for persecution to come before we leave our circles and go to the lost with the best news they can ever hear.
Here are some practical “gospel-centered questions” from the Gospel Coalition to help get a pulse on where you’re at:
1. When was the last time you had a conversation with an unbelieving friend about spiritual matters?
2. Consider two people in your life today that do not know Jesus. How can you pray for each of them specifically today? Can you plan a time to purposefully invite them to church, a Bible study or engage them in spiritual conversation?
3. What fears or struggles are keeping you from sharing your faith? What truths about God can you meditate upon to fight against those fears?