I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:23
The Apostle Paul was letting the Corinthians know that he adjusted according to the situations he was placed, in order to gain favor with the people heís with. In the verses before and the verses after, he explained how he flexed that he may accomplish the calling that God has placed upon him. It may have been so difficult to change hats like he did, to be among Jews and Gentiles. To those who observed the law, he was one way and when he was with those that didnít observe the law, he was another. In the later verses, he confessed that he disciplined his body like an athlete, and I am imagining that he also disciplined his mind because his passion was to preach the Good News at all costs. In verse 24, Paul states that in a race everyone runs, but only one wins the prize. Run to win, he says.
To follow and imitate Paulís lead would be to consider the heart of God and His desire for everyone to have a personal relationship with Him. I look around my circle of friends, my network of professional colleagues and the nameless faces I see at say perhaps the local drugstore or supermarket. Each has a personal struggle or a challenge to conquer. The verses in the last part of 1 Corinthians 9 helps me see that Paul dealt with people individually, treating each person uniquely. I would like to be an ambassador as Paul was but I have to find ways to know people too. It seems to me that it took humility to perform his assignment because it will involve listening instead of judging. Accepting yet correcting. Leading so that these ones that Paul met will also run their own race. I would like to join his team! The Lord is continually working in my heart so I can be used in the purposes He has designed. I desire to also win my race, and I hope on my way to the finish line I will show people who Jesus is.
Father in Heaven, I would like to learn how to be all things to all men as Paul was. May I have the fear of you God, that you would be glorified in my relationships with others. Teach me how to flex, and how to use the life experiences that Iíve had in telling others about you. That you took me where I was to show me who you are, and you still do. You are not a respecter of persons, you long for each one of us to relate to you God. You long to reach out to us, walk with us in this life on earth. For the sake of Gospel, show me, show us your church how to declare to the world your healing power, your provision, and more than anything else your love displayed by what Jesus did on the cross. We can do this only by your power and revelation. Be glorified!