FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL
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.
During the craziness of this time, we are drawn to find something that will allow our spirits to find peace. We are in desperate need to make sure that what we are doing is something that is in the will of God. We are all searching for answers and trying to really help others that are in these doldrums off COVID and craziness. It has truly affected us all in one way or another. Whether it is because of someone who has died of COVID or if they have lost a freedom of going to school or if they are stuck in a new virtual world, many of us are truly sick of anything that has to do with COVID. We as Christians have to take time to recognize the anxiousness of the situation and the true impact it has on all of our lives. It is in the times of uncertainty that we are able to ask the question, what are we able to do FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL? How are we able to reach out and connect in different ways when there seems as if there is no way to connect? How do we change our mindsets to look outside the walls of the church to find the true connection that people need during this time of stay at home, quarantine and loss of corporate connection.
This truly is a time that will try our souls and a time that calls us to really think outside the box. We have to be willing to try new things and not be so set on the things of the past. We have to be willing to take a risk but through the framework of wisdom and discernment. Are we able to meet in one on one encounters that can allow us to break through the virtual slavery we have encountered through many types of media outlets? Are we able to really walk outside our norms and instead of expecting people to come to us, we are willing to go to them. We are willing to really be the hands and feet of God in ways that we have never experienced before. I pray that God will continue to have His hands on our lives and help to
provide opportunities for ministry that is beyond our walls. We have truly been preparing for this for such a long time, it just means that we have to step out of our comfort zones. For such a long time we felt as though the only way that we could do something for God is to provide something at the church. God is like no... GO BE THE CHUCH. Go and be buy hands and feet. The disciples, nor Jesus, built a building for people to come to them. They were called to GO and MAKE DISCIPLES.. When did we lose that mentality? Are we willing to go and do whatever it takes FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL. I know that I am not asking you to lay down you life, but there is a way that we can lay down our "life"- our schedule, our homes, our finances... it is the things that we are in control of that God is asking that we give to HIM FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL.
Stepping into Paul's letter to the people of Corinth, we are watching as he is encoring them to take a chance and offer your life for those that may be in need. Paul states that whatever context I may be in, I am willing to become like them in order that they will not have to feel as though they are sitting in judgement or feel as though they are not good enough. If they struggle with a sin, I am not going to put that in their faces. For example, if I was an alcoholic, I would not go and find a job in a bar. Paul is saying that people are struggling and I want them to see the depths of God's love and grace that surrounds their lives. I want them to know that regardless of their circumstances they still have a God that is there to walk with them if they make the choice to step out of their situation and follow God. There is always give and take on both sides. So the question then becomes what are we willing to give up to help the furtherance of the Gospel and what are those who are in need willing to let go of to trust in God? I just really wish anyone could see the true benefits and blessings that will come from surrendering to God, but it is really hard to surrender to something that you feel as though you cannot physically see. WE have to be willing to be the ambassadors or the examples of Christ in hopes of them being able to see God in us.
We have to be willing to say that even though we are satisfied in our relationship with God, there is still so much more that we can learn from God to stretch us and help us grow. I really do believe that the true test of a disciple is not how much knowledge they are able to attain, but how many people they are willing to teach and equip to become disciples themselves. I firmly believe that we have kept God in a box or a bubble for so long the know that we cannot return to church, we feel as though we lose our connection with God itself. That is not true. True the church is a place that allows us to celebrate and connect with others, but if our faith and our connection with God is only tied to a building, we have a lot more to think about as it concerns our faith. Paul is saying that he is willing to do whatever it takes to not be a crutch or be a stumbling block to anyone that he encounters. My hope and dream is that I am able to live my life for God in the same way. I am praying that we all find ways to
connect outside the walls until inside the walls is ready to return to and celebrate the stories of how God has used us to expand the Gospel through our actions. I am willing to lay down my life for the Gospel and in fact I did. I was truly planning on being an attorney and having a life that would be Monday-Friday and allow me to travel and do things with my family on the weekends. I was dreaming that I would never have a worry in the world, but that is not what God called me to do. God literally spoke to me and said, Jason, what are you willing to do for the Gospel. And I vividly remember saying, whatever you need me to do. God I lay my life at your feet. So God picked it up and I have never looked back. I have struggled... I have second guessed myself many times for decisions I have made, but I have never doubted the day when I said to God I will lay down my life FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL. When the day comes I hope and pray that I have given all that I can for God and it has never been about me, but it directs everyone towards God.