Gleanings – Not Counting the Cost!

1 Corinthians 9:16-27

“I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

Paul is not known for his humility in the 21st century. So called scholars like to take him to task for hubris leading to “Follow me.” Some impose their anger upon him and associate him with pride and even misogyny. But here the true heart of the apostle is revealed. We see humility and self-denial.

Paul is being used by God to save some. He has no grand scheme to save the world. He has no sense that he by his brain power and perseverance can bring about a utopia. He knows and accepts that saving is God’s work. It is the Holy Spirit that prepares one to say “Jesus is Lord.” Salvation occurs one soul at a time.

What makes Paul so worthy of our admiration and emulation is his willingness to abandon his plans to make himself available to be a part of God’s. He denies self. He lays no claim to self-determination. He will be a Jew. He will be a Greek. He will be weak. He will be strong. Paul gets it! He need not assert himself in any situation because it is not about him. He is present as a representative of another, an ambassador for a higher cause.

Far too often in the modern and Western church, we devise programs to save souls. Why address individually what we can do en masse? Why use a small group when stadiums are available? Efficiency and effectiveness are our masters. This, of course, makes the enterprise about us. It is about Him and humbling ourselves to be at His service. We are to meet the broken and brokenhearted where they are and lay aside any need to assert ourselves in the situation. No degrees. No lofty plans. Just communicating grace and release to people bound by law and sin. If only the church was filled with Pauls.



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