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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”—Romans 1:8 (NKJV)
Over the past few days, we’ve seen that the gospel is global. It’s capable of taking root, growing, and flourishing in any environment. The gospel is for everyone, everywhere. And because the gospel is global, so are its followers.
Consider this for a moment: If you’re a Christian, at this very moment there are men and women on every other continent who share your deepest beliefs and pray to the same Father. There are brothers and sisters on the other side of the world seeking the Lord’s wisdom for their next decision just as you do. Christians thousands of miles away are pouring over the pages of Isaiah, Psalms, Luke, Galatians, and the rest of the Bible just like you!
In Christ, we are truly part of a global community. We are connected to something so much bigger than ourselves . . . a family of faith wrapping around the world. If you’ve ever been part of a family, you understand how the whole family celebrates when one member achieves something. Maybe a goal was scored, a performance went perfectly, an article was published, or a promotion came through. Everyone in the family comes together in celebration when one member succeeds.
Put all of this together and you get a sense of what Paul is saying to the Christians in Rome in the passage above. He’s telling them that word has gotten out about their faith. Despite being in the heart of a pagan society, they’re blazing a spiritual trail for the gospel, and the entire worldwide family of faith is hearing and cheering them on. Imagine the impact this had on them!
The nature of the gospel and the family of faith hasn’t changed. As Christians, we’re still part of a global community connected by our faith in Christ. And our faith in Him has the effect of encouraging the rest of our spiritual family and vice versa.
Word gets out about the faith of our Christian brothers and sisters living in the Middle East, Far-East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and it humbles and challenges us in our own spiritual lives. We may not live in places as heavily persecuted, but make no mistake, our faith in Christ has the power to encourage others regardless of where we’re located. What effect is your faith having on the rest of the family as word gets out?
DIG: What feature defines our family of faith?
DISCOVER: Why is it so important to recognize this? What effect is your faith having on the rest of the family?
DO: Encourage a member of the worldwide family today. Write an e-mail to a missionary, or call a friend in another part of the country or the world. Share an encouraging word with a brother or sister who is bringing the gospel to the ends of the earth!
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.