My daily journaling from God’s Word. SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. Today’s journal comes from reading Romans 1.
“I am under obligation both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and foolish, so for my part I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.” -Romans 1:14-15
Paul was under obligation—he owed a debt and had responsibility to pay that debt. The obligation was to take the gospel to people. This was more than a privilege—it was an “obligation”— a debt, a duty. Something he owed to all men.
Later Paul uses the same word in Romans 8:13 “brothers you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.”
Paul not only realized his duty, he was also “eager” (or willing) to preach.
Do I grasp my RESPONSIBILITY to preach the gospel? Failing to do so would be akin to not paying back money I had borrowed. It’s not an option; it’s a duty. Fulfill my duty with eagerness. Enjoy preaching the gospel. But if I don’t FEEL like preaching, do it anyway. It is my obligation. I want no soul in hell to ever point a finger at me and say I didn’t fulfill my responsibility of telling them the gospel.
I often have Christians tell me, “I have to sin. I can’t help it.” I wish I would hear more say, “I have to witness!” We have no obligation to the flesh; our only obligation is to follow Jesus.
Father, this is a really important mind-set I need to have, and one in which I am weak: I have a duty to preach the gospel. You have made me Your ambassador. You have saved my soul. You have called me and sent me. I must be faithful.
But I owe something to people as well. I have a debt to pay to THEM! Might I fulfill that debt as faithfully as if I owed them money I had borrowed. And might I fulfill this duty with eagerness—joy, delight, willingness. I love to preach Your good news, and most days, I find it enjoyable. But on those days when it is difficult and seems no one cares, might I remain faithful in my duty. And some day, if genuine persecution should arise, in the way Paul faced, might I continue in faithfully fulfilling my gospel obligation.
By Your strength and for your glory, Amen.