daily bible readings

Saturday June 20, 2020.

Jun 20 2020

Paul’s Entire Life

Saturday June 20, 2020

Read 1 Corinthians 9:19-27.

Paul was, in effect, a full time missionary who devoted his entire life to Gospel ministry. While not everyone is called to be a full time missionary, we are all, biblically speaking, full time missionaries even though we may not have a calling to Venice, Majorca or New Caledonia.

Paul’s life, even though he was a full time missionary, still serves as a great example for us. He begins by sharing his heart with us in 1 Corinthians 9:15–16, “I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. 16 Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” Paul yearns deep within to use the gift that God has given him. This urge surpasses the urge to marry, to have a family, to earn money and to have a stable set of close knit friends whom he can call on throughout the week. Paul’s heart is to work for the Gospel. As missionaries in a different context, do we have the same yearning and deep desire? Do we desperately want to use the gift that God has given us to serve and bless both the church and those in the local community in which we live? We will never joyfully give up our rights until this desire is firmly set in our heart.

Paul then shares his intentional or strategic living plan in 1 Corinthians 9:19–23. “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make 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 men 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.” Paul deliberately moulds his life to suit the context so that as many people as possible can hear the Gospel and come to know Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Whether you are at home raising the children (one of the two most important jobs in the world), retired or working in a high-strung executive position or even unemployed, you can have the same strategic or intentional plan for your life. If you have children, you can strategically use play dates to meet other parents so as to win them to Christ. This is not seeking to carve a notch on the conversion post. Rather, it’s about relationship and loving others with the love of Jesus so that they can taste and see that the Lord really is good. As a business woman or unemployed person, you can make the most of every contact you have for the sake of the gospel.

Paul goes on to reveal his attitude and thinking about his own body. In 1 Corinthians 9:24–27 he writes, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” Paul has made his body his slave so that he can run the race with perseverance and finish the race. They body, for Paul, is a tool through which the Gospel can be taken to the world. He is not a slave to his body. Rather, his body is a slave to the Gospel work entrusted to him to be doing.

Everything about Paul’s life is geared towards the Gospel. The following table might help you to make changes in your life so that everything in your life is about the Gospel. It’s a relatively easy table to fill in. But, what’s difficult is making changes so that everything in our lives is about the Gospel.

Area of life                     % focused on Gospel                   Changes Needed.

Work

Education/ Study

Friendships

Physical health.

Child Raising

Leisure time

Grand children.

Marriage

Money

Dating Life

House/home

Internet/ Social media

Work life

 

Discussion Questions

1. How would you summarise Paul’s life?

2. What did Paul mean in v19  when he said he became a slave to everyone?

3. What does this mean for us today?

4. What changes would you expect to see in your congregation if everyone did this?

Prayer:

Adoration:

· Adore the Lord Almighty that He created us with a body so that we can serve Him and bless Him and honour Him with our bodies.

· Adore God that He lavishes us with His love and grace each and every day.

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