“I have become all things to all men
that by all possible means I might save some.”
(1 Corinthians 9:22)
Do you sense the deeply intentional commitment behind Paul’s words? It is only when Jesus Christ is at the actual core of our lives that we can identify with what he is saying. He was willing to literally give Himself up – to introduce others to the Savior! He purposely surrendered to become – “…all things to all men…”
Does the adventure of serving Jesus Christ beckon you? If your answer is “Yes,” then today you will want to discover a secret. Paul’s impassioned words reveal the Holy Spirit’s leading. There must be absolutely no place where you and I are not willing to go in order to share the gospel. For that reason, pause and quietly meditate on this challenging reality. Now, there is something more – thoughtfully consider his words, “…that by all possible means I might save some.” Being personally flexible makes all the difference in spiritually effective ministry!
Paul was Jewish, yet to share his witness he traveled far beyond his geographic comfort zone. As you reflect on his ministry to the Gentiles, think about yourself. Is there any form of fear, anxiety, or worldliness that is currently hindering your personal effectiveness in ministry? Is there a haunting unconfronted sin that keeps you from being used by God (see 1 John 1:9)?
Is unaddressed indifference or prejudice still blocking the Holy Spirit’s activity in your life? Remember that Gentiles always were and still are members of every non-Hebrew race. This means that your witness to “all men” and women must be totally “colorblind!” Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
Any ministry that makes a life-changing impact must be highly intentional. The Apostle Paul explained, “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” (1 Cor. 9:19)
Our chosen slavery to the Lord Jesus Christ requires our willingness to befriend the friendless, care for the outcast, and be an encourager to the discouraged. Barnabas had just such a ministry to young Saul of Tarsus. Their remarkable friendship produced one of history’s most effective Christian authors, witnesses, and disciple-making ministers. Paul later wrote, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9)
It is important for us to periodically check our own hearts. Remember, that selective love can cause us to neglect entire neighborhoods – possibly even our very own! With that in mind, will you now stop reading? Please pause long enough to quietly evaluate your own level of spiritual commitment. In the light of I Corinthians 9:22, “…I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some,” how Biblical is your ministry? How much does it resemble the Master’s? Do you long to see people of every race and nation receiving the message of salvation? For greater effectiveness, the Holy Spirit may now want to revamp your thinking. If He does, be ready for inclusive spiritual outreach!
By Billie Hanks Jr.