Willing to Give.

What are we willing to give?


19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.                                                                                                        1 Corinthians 9:19-23

As I examine God’s calling on my life and dream about my future, I often wander back to this passage of Scripture from Paul’s pen. I don’t always like it, I certainly don’t always live it, but I DO always believe that it serves as a model for our ministries. To sum it up, “I surrender my freedom (rights, preferences, desires) to reach others with the Gospel.” That’s it. Easy-peasy.

Unfortunately, in our consumer-driven me-first culture, most American Christians – including yours truly – have not surrendered all so that others might come to Christ.  What we most often do is yield in some small areas where it’s not that great a sacrifice but cling vigorously to our “pet” preferences. The results of this half-hearted surrender are anemic; we don’t make any difference for the sake of Christ in our communities. The kingdom suffers and lost people go to hell.

So, what are we willing to give “that by all means [we] save some?”

I’m struggling with what to write next. At first, I was going to list some of our “sacred cows” in churches and see if you’re willing to give those things up for the sake of others. But, even as I think about those things, I realize that they aren’t even the point. The point is, no man-made tradition or preference is worth the eternal destinies of our neighbors. Are they?

So, here’s what I’d like you to do right now. Think about your grandkids, neighbor families, adult or teenaged children, co-workers, and best friends. Do you have them pictured? Their names in your head? Ok, now. What would you give up for them to walk with Christ? 

Are you willing to change your schedule? Are you willing to serve in VBS? Are you willing to stop having programs and events you remember and loved from days gone by? Are you willing to allow some programs to go away and embrace new ones? Are you willing to “make yourself servant of all, that [you] might win more of them?”

Concord needs Jesus. What are we willing to give so they can know Him?
In Him,
Pastor Jim