The Only Message That Matters
The great commission is your permission.
All Christians are commissioned to preach the gospel. Seems simple enough. Yet I think we tend to qualify it, assuming someone else will do the heavy lifting — like pastors and other “ministry professionals.” Maybe we feel unqualified, inadequate, or under equipped to accomplish such a task.
As writers, creatives, and everyday Christians, I want us to see the freedom and beauty in this commission from the Lord Jesus. It’s an honor and privilege to steward this message.
The word for go in the Greek is talking about a journey. It’s about an ongoing pursuit as you live out your days with your family and in your community. It’s about being on an adventure with God — who’s a loving Father, not a taskmaster.
The word for preach in this verse means to be a herald. The dictionary definition of a herald is “an official messenger bringing news.” As I was studying this word, it occurred to me:
The great commission is less about doing and more about becoming. Being a messenger of the gospel is an identity, not a job title. It’s a lifestyle, not a to-do list.
The being comes first, then the doing. When you embody the message, the preaching will take care of itself. The inner reality will produce an authentic outward expression.
Preach also means to publish or proclaim openly. When you publish something, it’s for other people … for mass distribution. Likewise, when you speak, you’re communicating to someone else. There’s a public sense to this word as well as purpose and authority attached to it. Your words, whether spoken or written, have influence.
The content of your going and preaching matters. Are you living your life with intention and purpose? Are you thinking and talking about the things that truly matter? Our life, our identity, and our communication habits should be grounded in the gospel. But that begs the question…
What is the gospel?
Let’s explore a few verses from Psalm 96.
Sing a new song to the Lord!Psalm 96:1-3 NLT
Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
First, I love that this psalm begins with a call for creativity and expression. The Hebrew word for new here means fresh or a new thing. It’s a unique expression — something that’s never been written or heard before. How is this possible?
As you get to know God, you’ll develop a healthy, holy fascination. As he reveals new things about himself, you won’t be able to help but proclaim these fresh facets of his identity, glory, and majesty.
Next, notice there are similar commands to proclaim and publish. The word for proclaim here in the Hebrew means to be fresh and full. This fresh filling can only happen in God’s presence. As you spend time together, he pours out his Spirit and washes you with his Word.
When you’re full of God, you’ll eventually overflow. You’ll want to testify, and other people will take notice. Your message? The good news that he saves.
This phrase used in the New Living Translation is summed up in one Hebrew word: yᵊšûʿâ (or yeshua). It means salvation, deliverance, victory, and prosperity.
Yeshua is Jesus!
He is the Messiah, a Person, who brings salvation, forgiveness, deliverance, victory, wholeness, and prosperity in its fullest sense. The gospel message is simply Jesus — his identity, his beauty, his life, his love, his death, his resurrection, his second coming.
In some ways, the gospel defies precise definition. I believe we’ll be exploring the depths of the gospel for all eternity, continually uncovering new insights. At the same time, the scriptures point to some key themes:
- The kingdom of God
- The birth, identity, and work of Jesus, including the fullness of what he accomplished on the cross
- The return of King Jesus to fully establish his kingdom
Here’s the bottom line: Preaching the gospel is not about memorizing facts or a script. It’s about knowing Jesus and making him known.
Psalm 96:3 exhorts us to publish, recount, and declare the gospel message to everyone, everywhere. That’s quite all-encompassing. The amazing thing is that this expression will look different for everyone.
Nobody can preach the gospel exactly like you. Nobody writes or speaks the way you do. So when you withhold your words and your voice, the world misses out on a unique opportunity to know Jesus.
As writers and creatives, our inspiration is Jesus and our content is Jesus. He’s the source, the vine, the living water. We draw from what the Lord is doing and saying and showing us. This is such an exciting and fulfilling way to write … and to live!
God has called you to communicate the most important message in the world. The gospel is the only message that matters. It’s the only proclamation that God promises to back up with a demonstration of his power.
Do you struggle to believe you’re an anointed messenger who’s called to proclaim the gospel? The Great Commission is your permission.
For I am full of words,Job 32:18-19 NIV
and the spirit within me compels me;
inside I am like bottled-up wine,
like new wineskins ready to burst.
The Lord has poured words and wisdom in you. You’re full of anointed words. It’s time to let them burst!
Lord, let a flood of new wine flow in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Want to learn more about the gospel? Check out 10:10 Life.
Here are two writing prompts to spark some inspiration.
- What is the gospel? How would you explain in your own words the fullness of what Jesus accomplished on the cross? How have you experienced salvation and the manifestation of God’s kingdom in your own life?
- How can you incorporate yeshua (salvation, deliverance, victory, prosperity = Jesus) into your writing and/or other creative projects? Journal your thoughts, questions, and ideas.
This blog is adapted from a Worthy Words workshop. You’re invited to join us at our upcoming events in 2022:
- August 26
- September 23
- October 28
Learn more and register for free at worthywords.co. Hope to see you soon!