How far will you go outside of your comfort zone and into the world to bring back those who are lost through the amazing gospel of Jesus, who died for those souls? Jesus was willing to suffer and surrender his own freedom for us. How willing are you?
19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Paul has much to say about rights and freedoms and the surrender of those freedoms. Surrender of our rights for the sake of the gospel is central and essential in the sharing of the gospel.
Why is that? It is because Jesus was willing to suffer and surrender his own freedom for us. When we hold on to our rights or privilege in our faith, we show God that we are not willing to follow Jesus in taking up our crosses. Jesus said we must deny ourselves to follow him (Matthew 16:24-26). This is what Paul is doing.
He was a Roman citizen, a Pharisee in his Jewish community. He became free from Mosaic Law when we became a follower of Jesus. There were freedoms which came from his identity and profile. And he surrendered them all to God.
He was willing to subject himself to rules or law or standards in order to have the privilege to share Christ with others. He put himself in their shoes, empathized and identified and was willing to become whatever he needed to in order to advance the gospel with people who need it.
Who is that in your world? Are you willing to rub shoulders with the needy? The homeless? The business community? Would joining the Chamber of Commerce and committing your time open doors to reach business owners in your community?
I have a friend who does prison visitation. He is willing to go behind bars to come alongside people who need the gospel. He doesn’t have to be arrested, yet he does go into the prison and subject himself to the security and the restrictions and whatever searches or rules apply to visitation there. He does it because Jesus died for those prisoners.
How far will you go outside of your comfort zone and into the world to bring back those who are lost through the amazing gospel of Jesus, who died for those souls?