A Marketplace Gospel – My Daily Bread!
Our call to emulate Christ is taken from Acts 28 30-31 which reads:
“For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.”
These two scriptures are the last passages in the Book of Act, the book which chronicles the birth and spread of the Church immediately following the death of Christ. It also records the spread of the gospel through the witness of the Apostle Paul while on his missionary tours and while in prison.
By the time these passages are recorded, Paul finds himself under house arrest in Rome for the sake of the gospel. It is remarkable to note Paul’s attitude while in prison. He continued to preach and teach the gospel! He did not let himself be constrained by his circumstances; but took every opportunity to share the good news with boldness!
While he was awaiting trial, he could have become discouraged, but instead he used his time to be an encouragement to others! He wrote the Books of Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Philippians (Prison Epistles) during his imprisonment in Rome. Paul was a true marketplace minister! This means a person who transforms his environment wherever he is (the marketplace) with the good news of Christ. As a result many believed and lives were saved! The marketplace was not the Church, or the synagogues or the temple; for Paul was 2,000 miles from home and in jail. His marketplace became whatever venue he operated in!
Let’s not forget that Paul was acting in accordance with his commission from Jesus when He said “This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.” (Acts 9: 15) and also “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 13: 47)
Like Paul, we too are the chosen instruments of God to carry forth his message of the gospel to this lost generation. Jesus commissioned us when he said: “All authority in heaven and earth has been given me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
However, we should ask ourselves, will I be like Paul and seize every opportunity to advance the Kingdom message? Will I take a marketplace approach and make wherever I am a platform for spreading God’s good news? Today our marketplace could be our home, place of employment, our neighborhood, school, or a bus stop while on the way to school!
Just as in Paul’s case, God will create the opportunity to preach the gospel, we just need to recognize them when they come our way and be bold and take them! We must not let ourselves be constrained by our circumstances. Pray that the Lord of Host ‘enable you to speak His word with great boldness’ (Acts 4:29) and to give you an attitude like Paul; so that you too can see your environment as your marketplace – full of limitless prospects to advance His kingdom and bring Glory to your Father in heaven!
Copyright© 2011 Colleen Holton All Rights Reserved.