Being a minister of the Gospel was no easy task. It required adaptability and discipline. Paul broke the mold. He was not simply preaching to the Jews in the local synagogue, He crossed Europe and Asia preaching to any and everyone that would listen. He preached to people in a way that met their culture and welcomed into the family of God as they were. He never was paid for his efforts nor did he expect to be. He was called by God to become everything he was not to advance the Gospel across the world. So, Paul told the Corinthians that they also needed to be adaptable as they shared the Gospel. They needed to quit worrying so much on whether people fit the mold for Christianity and start to focus on getting this message out to those the Holy Spirit could touch and redeem.
In our day and culture, we also need to be disciplined and adaptable. The older I become, the more real the idea that I need to adapt to be effective becomes. My kids are adults and their kids will not respond to the things that drew me over 50 years ago. We need to keep the message real, relevant and in front of people. We need to sense the urgency of the Gospel as Paul did. We cannot be offended or afraid as we tell others about Christ. He will do the leading and saving– we simply need to be disciplined and adaptable as we spread the message. Help me, Lord to continue to speak the truth without fear or prejudgement.
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made 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 people 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.
The Need for Self-Discipline
24 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 someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.