OVERVIEW: Paul defends his work as an apostle and shares that he disciplines himself so that he is prepared to share the gospel fearlessly.
BIG IDEA: Give up your rights to love and serve others.
KEY VERSE: 1 Corinthians 9:22 (Paul to the Corinthians)
When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
Christ died to set you free. You are free, indeed! But be willing to set aside your rights to freedom when the time is appropriate. Build bridges and relationships with as many people as possible. Do you understand another person’s culture or religion? Ask questions. Try different foods. Learn why they observe certain holidays or wear particular clothing. Be a friend and not a critic. You don’t have to be afraid to bring up sensitive topics like politics or religion if your heart is soft and teachable.
Yes, I want you to do whatever it takes to win as many people to Christ. I love each person in the world and want them to have as many opportunities as possible to receive my love. But don’t look at people as “targets.” Don’t have a plan for their lives. Let me focus on that. Be authentic. Care for them as you would a friend. Laugh with them, cry with them, and b available to them.
Set a spiritual growth goal in your relationship with Christ. What is something you want to know, do, or be? Set a deadline and identify growth markers along the way. Don’t focus so much on the task that you miss the reason why you do what you do.
BONUS Video Clip