“Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior, To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. ” (Titus 1:1–4, NAS)
I'd like you to take a read at the above passage. Needless to say, though I'll say it anyway, Paul did not record the highlighting on the highlighted portion. To be honest, I'm not sure the blog shows it yet, but the proclamation with which I was entrusted should be highlighted in the passage.
This struck me as I read Titus this morning: I need to remember that the Gospel is, really, not mine. In fact, preaching the Gospel is not even my activity. It is, rather, something entrusted to me.
Why does this matter?
Well, in management/leadership training in the recent decades, much has been made of getting people to take 'ownership' of ideas. The thought is that people will put forth much more effort for something that they 'own' rather than for what is someone else's. This was also the foundational argument for the push to home ownership over renting.
We've borrowed that into church as well, where we've begun to treat things as 'mine': 'my church' 'my preaching' 'my class.' Now, the ways this is good can be discussed in a further post. In fact, if I remember, we'll come back to it.
Something that we should remember, though, is this: ultimately, it's not mine. My preaching? Yes, but my preaching is my action of stewardship of someone else's message. It has been entrusted to me.
The important thing I was seeing to remember is this: we are entrusted with God's message. We should value that trust. We should care for the message more than as if it were our own. Looking back into Paul's time, messengers that were entrusted with the messages of Caesar were committed to faithful delivery or death.
Am I that trustworthy? The message that I have---will I deliver it faithfully or at the least die trying? Will I at least have the courage of Pheidippides? To deliver faithfully and die from the doing?
This is our call as preachers of the Gospel. This is, truly, our call as followers of Christ---to deliver the message or die trying. To cast our lives aside that others may save theirs. This, and nothing less, is the work of the disciple.