Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

For the Sake of the Gospel

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

9th February 2014

‘…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…’ (1 Corinthians 9:22–23 NIV)

This verse provides Paul’s modus operandi in his evangelistic approach.

He is not advocating a compromise of the gospel message, but rather calls for consideration, compassion and empathy as the good news about Jesus Christ is shared with people from different social and, ethnic backgrounds.

Some other translations expand on the type of things Paul would do in order to bring people to faith: ‘I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some’. (V.22 NLT); ‘I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life’. (V.21-22 The Message)

Paul would, ‘try to find common ground’, ‘experience things from their point of view’ and ‘become just about every sort of servant there is’. This is how far he would go for the sake of the gospel.

Unfortunately, the evangelistic methods adopted by some Christians, is the very antithesis of Paul’s approach. Instead of ‘becoming all things to all people’ they often look for differences, for things to fight over and argue about, and identify areas to point their finger at. All this does is result in antagonising people where they are made to feel uncomfortable and are turned off the gospel altogether.

The Scriptures provide a great deal of advice on how we are to treat one another such as, ‘Make every effort to live in peace with everyone’ (Hebrews 12:2);

‘It's a mark of good character to avert quarrels, but fools love to pick fights’. (Prov.20:3 The Message); and ‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others’. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Jesus always looked to the interests of others and met people where they were in order to share the gospel of grace with them (e.g. The woman at the well in John 4 and the woman caught in adultery in John 8). Can we participate in Jesus’ ministry and relate to people in this way for the sake of the gospel?

If so we’ll have ‘the same mindset as Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 2:5), the same approach as the apostle Paul, and who knows, some may even be led into a relationship with their Saviour and live a ‘God-saved life’.

Prayer

Father, Help me to have a heart for people so that in all of my relationships I can serve others by searching for common ground and join with Jesus as he ministers to them in their world. For the sake of the gospel, I pray.
Amen

Have a good week finding common ground,

Pastor Barry

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