Prayer Focus:   Turkey

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 9-11

Scripture –  Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.  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.  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.  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.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.  – Cor 9:19-23

Observation-  Paul at this point in his ministry is reaching out to all that will listen, and  trying to reach out to those who won’t listen.  He preached to Jews,  Romans, Greeks and Gentiles.  He went to them where they lived and tried to see through their own eyes how they viewed the world and where God’s place in it was.  He built relationships and preached the Good News in the language and manner each group could understand in order that he “… might  save some.”  Even Paul, as great a preacher and minister that he became, knew that he could not save them all.  (Indeed, even he could not save one. Only the spirit can reach the lost… but that’s for another day)   Because God gave us free will to accept his gift, many can and will choose to not accept it.  Even for Paul, it was true.

Application –  We are called to find our neighbor, whether that be the Good Samaritan of Luke 10:25, or a thief that hung on a cross next to Jesus in Luke 23:40.  Ok, maybe we don’t have to face those extremes.  But the message of Paul in the verses above does teach that we are to reach out to those around us and that we are to be intentional in our relationships, we are to learn to see through their eyes, so that they can learn to see through ours.  We’ve been talking  a lot about being a missional church, of reaching out to the people and the community around us and helping them to see the love of Jesus through our every day lives.  I don’t think we need to become Jewish to minister to the Jewish, or Muslim to minister to the Islamic.    But we do need to understand what they think and how they view the world.  Because by understanding that we can help “…save some.”

Prayer – Lord help me to love my neighbor, and help me to build relationships with my neighbor, that I might get to know my neighbor and they would get to know me.  Help me to be example of what a Christian should be, help me to be a good example and that Christ love shows through me.  Help my neighbor see Christ through me.  Amen.