I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for His body, the church. Colossians 1:24
If you've reached out to people in your life who are unbelievers, you have likely discovered by now that it requires sacrifice. It may require you to sacrifice time, money, or other activities you enjoy doing. Regardless of the sacrifice, will you continue to do it anyway?
The apostle Paul was very aware that sharing the message of Christ requires sacrifice. While he was writing the book of Colossians, he was in prison in Rome for sharing his faith in God. As he wrote Colossians, he acknowledged the sacrifices he made to spread the Gospel. In Colossians 1, he wrote that he was glad for his suffering that resulted from sharing his faith. He was glad because he knew it was on behalf of Christ and the entire Church. Paul saw the bigger picture than his present sacrifices and suffering.
As you consider the sacrifice needed to share your faith with those who are lost, what is your response? Maybe you are considering joining a gym or club, but the cost to join that gym or club will be a sacrifice for you. Perhaps you are struggling with the sacrifice it may take to spend time with unbelievers in your life because you do not have much extra time. Maybe you are worried about how someone may treat you after you share your faith. Whatever the case, reaching unbelievers in your life for Christ may require sacrifice. Are you willing to make that sacrifice? Can you, with Paul, be glad to sacrifice for the sake of reaching others for Christ?
As you have been praying for and reaching out to unbelievers in your life, is there something you have been avoiding doing because you know it will require you to make a certain sacrifice? Decide today to make that sacrifice anyway. Join that gym or club. Spend time with that lost person even though your extra time is scarce. Your sacrifice will pale in comparison to the joy of seeing someone in your life come to know Christ because of your willingness to share Him, even though it required you to sacrifice.
Read Colossians 1:24-29 (NLT)
I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.