Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 1 Cor. 9:16
Lord Jesus, if “to woe” is to express dread, distress, and despair, then I’ve certainly done my share of “woe-ing.” “Woe is me, if she won’t go out with me”, or “if I don’t get the job of my dreams,” or “if I don’t catch a big Halibut,” or “if my team doesn’t win,” and the list of self-referential yearning goes on. That’s why this little “redemptive woe” by Paul is so refreshing.
“Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” Jesus, make us the kind of people, like Paul, who are so smitten and preoccupied with you, that all of life is measured in terms of the gospel—who you are, what you’ve done for us, and what you’re doing in the world. Supersize our love for the gospel, Jesus. Intensify our longing for others to understand and experience the riches of grace in the gospel.
May our joys be defined by the incalculable riches of the gospel. May our thinking be shaped by the liberating truths of the gospel. May our hopes be fueled with the wondrous future of the gospel. May our passion be bound up with the advancing of the gospel.
May our peace be strengthened by the power of the gospel. May our choices be regulated by the priorities of the gospel. May our worship be intensified by the heart-satisfying goodness of the gospel. May our “woe-ing” be primarily connected to how little we “get” the gospel, how little we love you Jesus, and how much we are still plagued with unbelief.
We’re not all vocational gospel preachers, but all of us are called to preach the gospel to ourselves daily—to blast our heart with every good thing we have in you, Lord Jesus. Forgive us, Jesus, when we waste our woes on whining about our disappointments and criticizing others. So very Amen we pray, in your most worthy and loving name.