Pastor Jonathan's Monday reflection.
Paul becomes all things to all people that he might win some to Christ. That the good news of forgiveness, freedom and a future in Jesus would enter into the lives of those far from him and transform them for his glory. That the chorus of worshipers would grow (1 Corinthians 9:19-27). And he invites us to the same life of discipline, sweating toward the prize of sharing in the nature of the gospel with others.
For me what is so challenging in Paul's call to live beyond ourselves is that I find myself in a bubble that dampens my ability to hear, meet and engage with those from a different perspective and experience than me. I certainly get to share in the power of the gospel in my work, and surprisingly not everyone who claims to be a Christian knows Jesus as he desires for them to. But otherwise, I read news that tends to flow in the same direction as my preferences. I associate with people that might benefit me, relationally or in my pursuit of "success." I prioritize my schedule by my inclinations over other's needs. I know only my immediate neighbors but I don't know them well enough to tell you their hopes and fears. The list could go on, but it all proves that I am far off from an others-focused life of sharing the gospel.
The good news in this is that Jesus has done exactly what we are invited into. He entered into the mess of our lives, took on our hurts, temptations, fears and joys. All that he could give of himself for us, for the other. In his work of accomplishing forgiveness and the future, we find the fuel we need to be reoriented beyond ourselves. His Spirit transforming us into disciplined all-things-to-all-people types.
I not fully sure how that will play out in my life in the coming months and years, what relationships with be fostered and life shared, but I know it will be good because Jesus is good and he doesn't call us to something other than the best. What might it look like for you?
This week I am praying that the Lord would work into each of us this living beyond ourselves. That we would experience opportunities to love and share the truth. That we would experience the fulfillment in adding worshipers to our King.
Be encouraged today to see the horizon full of those waiting to witness the gospel-formed life. Live it so that others might see, ask and be won to Jesus. There is no greater crown to be won!
Love you. Let's be about this together!