A Compelling Need

A Compelling Need

“For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast,
since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me
if I do not preach the gospel!”
(1 Corinthians 9:16).

There are life vocations and pressing missions that leave their mark forever. Paul may renounce his name, Saul, his rights as an apostle, his right to be supported by the church, his Jewish bloos, his Roman citizenship, his preparation with Garmaliel’s lectures, and eating for several days. However, there is something that he does not want to – and cannot – give up, even for a moment: proclaiming the gospel. This is his pressing need. And he has nothing to boast about, for it is not he who enhances the gospel, it is the gospel that enhances life.

Paul had been called to announce, not to keep quiet. Staying silent was a sin, for he would be denying his call and the great commission. The joy of those who recieved his message was as great as the joy of the messenger. As Martin Luther King said,

“What worries me is not the cry of the violent…
what worries me the most is the silence of the good people.”

In the early days of the work in Chile, the difficulties were tremendous. It was not easy to go frm place to place. The pioneers were consumed by the gospel. Pastor Victor Thomann traveled long distances on horseback, carrying the blessed hope. He visited the new believers, strengthened their faith and missionary commitment, and carried the tithes and offerings that the brethren gave in their generosity and faithfulness for the growth of the church and the mission.

On a cold night in 1905, he galloped through pine forests, illuminated only by the moonlight. He was singing and praising God when he suddenly perceived that he was being followed by someone, clearly with the intention of robbing him. He accelerated his pace and took a path parallel to the river, until he reached a wooden bridge. On the other side he encountered a large illuminated house, in which lived two policemen guarding the area.

“How did you get here?” he was asked
“I crossed the wooden bridge,” replied the pastor.
“Impossible! There is no bridge here,” the policemen said.

Jesus, “the way, the truth, and the Life” (John 14:6), built a bridge in the form of a cross to save us. On this side of the river  band of temptations and dangers seduce and hurt us. On the other side of the river, a large mansion full of light and life awaits us.

The same God who brought water out of rock
and who opened a path into the sea also made a wooden bridge
to save the life of Pastor Thomann.
May we, like him and Paul,
also say that we have a compelling need.

May the good Lord bless you and your family…