Today’s WORD (Text) 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
19/ For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a servant to all, so that I might win more of them. 20/ To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win the Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21/ To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. 22/ To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. 23/ I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.
Paul was so persuaded of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ that he dedicated every aspect of his life to proclaiming the Gospel in response to his ministry call. He made it plain that the commission to preach did not restrict his freedoms to engage in the everyday pursuits and privileges of life that are common to others. Whether pursuing a profitable career, eating fine foods, or enjoying any number of leisure and recreational activities that others engage in from time to time, Paul asserted that he was free to engage in all those. Nevertheless, Paul freely interpreted God’s call as all-consuming for him. He was fully committed to sharing his faith with as many individuals and people groups possible. Whether rising early, staying up late, or traveling by inconvenient methods to inconvenient destinations, or immersing himself in cultures that were completely foreign to him, or outside his own preferred cultural and ideological group, Paul was willing to do whatever it took to persuade whoever he came into contact with of the powerful message of the resurrected Christ
To what limits are you prepared to travel in order to share your faith with others outside your comfort zone or immediate community?
Dear Lord, make us passionate witnesses to all people of your reconciling love for all people. We pray that faith in the resurrected Lord, and the vision of a reconciled world living in beloved community with God and with one another will compel us to make whatever sacrifices are needed to share this powerful message with all people, from all nations and walks of life without discrimination or preference. Help us to see that your love transcends and incorporates all people equally, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
The Passionary Intention
Today, I choose to live my life with passion. Today, I intend to follow Christ more nearly, love more dearly and incarnate God’s grace more clearly by asking myself three questions:
- Where will I follow Christ today?
- To whom shall I demonstrate Jesus’ love and justice today?
- How can I play my part in practicing the presence of Christ, right here, right now?
The Passionary Movement Word and Witness devotion is published weekdays (Monday – Friday). Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies is the author of today’s devotion.
Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash