The Lord’s commission in Matt. 28:19 is to go into all the world and disciple all the nations; His promise in Acts 1:8 about the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples also says that “you will be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth“. On the one hand, we need to “preach the gospel”, but in all these verses it is about witnessing, about living out the gospel, having a living that issues in the gospel! Preaching the gospel must not be a move or an activity – it must be a part, an element, of our normal Christian life.
Actually, a witness is a martyr(same Greek root word) – we testify about the Lord Jesus with our words and with our life/living, even at the cost of our life. Paul said that he was willing to spend and be utterly spent on behalf of the saints(2 Cor. 12:15) – to preach the gospel even at the cost of his life. This is our life and our living as a Christian: we live to magnify Christ, to preach the gospel! We may not be martyred physically, but we spend our whole being on the ones we speak to and we take care of. Just like a mother who travails for her children, we travail, we labor, we spend and are even utterly spent on behalf of the souls of the ones the Lord placed on our heart.
In Thessalonians we see that a clean heart and an upright living, together with loving the new ones even by giving our souls to them – these are the prerequisites for infusing others with the salvation conveyed in the gospel we preach. Our heart must be pure, our intentions clean, and especially we need to have a proper attitude towards money. Our living must be upright, even one with the Lord in our daily walk. And with the ones the Lord placed on our hearts, we need to love them, and be willing to spend&be utterly spent on their behalf. Just like the Lord Jesus, who gave Himself up for us, as He is in us and we are in Him, in this wonderful organic union, we love them and impart to them even our own souls – in an affectionate way, as a nursing mother would care for her children, cherishing and nourishing them…
This is our normal Christian life, a life in which we enjoy the Lord daily, we abide in Him, we eat Him and drink Him, and spontaneously there is an issue – we love one another, and we take care of the new ones even at the cost of our life. And our living is just a preaching, a witnessing, a living and magnifying of Christ. Lord, grant us to have a normal Christian life!