Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ. Romans 10:17
Thanks to our highly efficient news media, we are living in an age of instant communication. Events abroad can be televised and seen locally by means of communication satellites stationed in space. The world has become an intimate whispering gallery. And yet much information does not get through. We call it a communication gap.
Communication gaps are a hindrance to the propagation of the Good News. Somehow the Word does not get around as it once did. “You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching” (Acts 5:28), said the members of the high council accusingly to the apostles. No communication gap there! Time and again the book of Acts reports at key points in its mission story, “The Word of God continued to increase and spread" (Acts 12:24).
Yet beyond Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria lay a big world where millions of heathen lived, and most of them had not heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified and risen again for everyone’s redemption from sin and death. Saint Paul did his utmost to close this communication gap as he traveled through the Roman Empire as a messenger whom the Lord had sent “far away to the Gentiles” (Acts 22:21). But a gap remained.
Saint Paul asks a series of questions bearing on the communication gap in the Gospel proclamation: “How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14-15).
To take the apostle’s questions in reverse order, the communication gap in the telling of God’s Good News is closed when we send missionaries into all the world, when these missionaries faithfully preach the Gospel, when the Holy Spirit leads believers to call on the name of the Lord. Locally, there may be a communication gap because we do not witness to our Lord at home, in school, at work, and in our communities. We begin to close that gap when we, in Saint Peter’s words, are always "prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).
PRAYER: Help me, Lord God to lead a godly life so that my example may prompt people to inquire about the Christian faith. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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