Let the Gospel Permeate Your Life
Permeate: to spread through something and be present in every part of it. This term comes to mind, at least for me, at this time of year, because of the aromas so prevalent, that permeate not only our noses but our very being. Many love to wake up with the aroma of coffee filling the air, or perhaps of freshly baked bread, or one of your favorite holiday recipes as it cooks in the oven. As they permeate the room, not only do they register delight with us, but also memories. The aroma of holiday foods cooking in the kitchen open a door to past meals enjoyed with loved ones. A chill in the air, and the smell of logs in a fireplace, not only can be pleasing as it permeates the outdoors, but also acts as a reminder of times and places with family and friends. These things that permeate us become part of who we are, and work together with all of our senses to touch our memories, our emotions, our lives.
In a very real sense, this is what the gospel should do for us. When we hear the gospel, it should permeate us with its message of salvation, convicting us of our sin, but also offering us the promise of forgiveness. This is the effect it had on those who heard Peter in Acts 2; “When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: ‘Brothers, what should we do?’” (Acts 2:37). The gospel permeates our motives, enlightening us in the good way we should live, enabling us to see the changes we should make, the growth we can have in our relationship with God. Paul echoed that thought when he wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
It is essential, if the message of the gospel is to transform our lives from sin to holiness, from the carnal to the spiritual, that it permeates us, that it fill us up, in what we understand, in what we value, in what we live for. Yes, we know we still have responsibilities while in the flesh, whether in earning a living, or providing for our families, or setting an example for others, or any other physical activity we can engage in. The difference in how we approach all these things is the difference the gospel working in us makes. We approach life with the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5), we seek to imitate Christ (1 Cor. 11:1), we live for the eternal (Col. 3:4).
How do we allow the gospel to permeate our lives, to accomplish its goal of salvation in us? We must spend time in the word, learning the truths it reveals to us (2 Pet. 3:18). We must incorporate its principles into everyday living, looking for and applying it to life situations (Col. 1:28). The eternal permeates our thoughts and beckons us to never exchange the hope of heaven for an attraction to the world (Phil. 3:20-21). We must not allow the world to be our priority. Do we can genuinely know it, apply it, and grow in it? Just how much has it permeated who you are, how you live, what you hope for? If it becomes integral to who we are, if it defines what we live for, it will end in glory. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”