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
Paul in his 2nd Corinthian letter tells the church there that he preaches not for profit or personal gain but for the simple reward of being able to offer the Good News for free. Paul states that he is compelled to preach. He takes on a note of seriousness and of personal doom if he doesn’t preach the Good News.
In a quiet time of prayer with Yahweh, Yahshua, and Ruach HaKodesh, I was reminded of an account of my childhood pastor and the details of his life in ministry of more than 50 years now. In the account, he noted that his calling to preach was present even in the earliest days of his childhood. Reverend Yerton began preaching at age 11. He recalled the following regarding his early days of ministry:
God blessed our efforts for Him, but even though we began to see many lives changed as people began to hunger for more of God’s Word and power in their lives, we were not seeing many people saved. This lack caused me to begin to pray desperately, “God give me souls, or I die. [emphasis added]” In 1969, our hunger for souls led us to go on our first missionary trip to Chiapas, Mexico. What we found was overwhelming; though there was a great field ready and ripe for harvest, very few workers were there. We began traveling there as often as we were able. 1
When I read Bro. Yerton’s testimony of 50+ years of service, I can hear the words of Paul in his frustration, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.” Although Bro. Yerton cried out to God about reaching the lost, he couldn’t reach the lost unless he preached the Good News of Jesus to them. Today, I have the same desire and desperation within me!
I have only been credentialed as a minister of the gospel for 18 months now and have preached a few sermons. I do feel as though this daily devotion is a daily sermon to someone in cyber space needing to hear the Truth of God’s Word. However, my heart’s real desire is to travel the globe preaching the Good News of Jesus to every person possible. My mission is the Great Commission. And as Paul said and Bro. Yerton cried, “Give me souls, or I die…[and] woe to me if I don’t preach the gospel.”
Father, I came to You today in prayer for the those with needs in and outside or congregation, but the heart of my prayers continually is that you open the door for preaching the gospel. I have been training for a few years now to do so. I have been graced with speaking at our home church, but I know that you called me to take the gospel’s Good News to the world. I pray and implore You to open the door of opportunity that no man can close. I hear a word to go to my hometown and minister there among the lost and hurting as well as to family and friends. May Your will be done and not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 – Yerton, R. D. (2008). Celebrating 50 years of fruitful ministry August 1958 – August 2008. (Retrieved on November 16, 2011 from