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Intimacy Living abundantly

1 Corinthians 9:19-21 – What is the Priority?

Here is the revelation that is shaping my life today – I can be right or I can walk alongside?

1 Corinthians 9:19-21 NLT

[19] Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. [20] When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. [21] When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ.

Observation

When you know your priority you allow other things to take their place according to that priority. Introducing Jesus is always the priority. I wonder how often we have made behaving right the priority over meeting Christ? How often has judgement of others, rather than acceptance and engagement with others, been our response at the expense of the introduction of Jesus? Why do we expect people to want to live the life of the Kingdom when they have not met the King? I wave my banners of judgement and condemnation without stopping for a moment to realise that I would live that way also if I had not met the King. To enter into their life that I may walk alongside so that from the place of proximity I might introduce Jesus. Have the followers of Jesus lost the opportunity to introduce Jesus because we have not made that our priority?

 

“So,” I hear me say, “am I just to accept any lifestyle, any behaviour? Does not my silence of objection tacitly communication acceptance?” Not if I am walking alongside. Proximity enables a conversation that is not shouting with banners but listening with love. The defence must always be of my invitation to proximity. Anything that locks the door to my sharing a meal will close the door to my sharing my Jesus. If outspoken banner-waving hostility closes the door then put the banners away. If outspoken hostile judgement closes the door then step away from the seat of judgement. Here is the principle to follow – “Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ.” I need to ask myself, what does a slave look like to these people? Slaves don’t condemn, they serve. The posture to serve brings the proximity to save. Banners down, they have never introduced anyone to Jesus, nor changed anyone’s behaviour.

 

It’s been tooooooo long that the church has been known for its disunity, its judgement, its I am right standing and shouting, it’s ‘you’re in if you behave and you’re out if you don’t’ offensiveness. When will we be known and prioritise our service and love that we might have proximity to share Jesus? When will we, when will I, choose to exercise my freedom in the Jesus way of walking alongside, in the shoes of, servanthood?


Application

Banners down, get the priority, and make everything else submit to the priority – proximity in love to share the love of Jesus. A life lived loving not judging others, walking in their shoes, that I may have the opportunity to share the gold and beauty of my life – my Jesus.

 


Response

Thank you that you never called me to be the moral police. You never sent me to sit in judgment. Thank you that I am not the one who determines who has got it right and who is wrong. Thank you that you only send me to walk alongside, in the shoes of others, so that I have the proximity to love.

 


Meditation

Meditation truth: “I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ.”

Consider:

How often do I priorities behaviour over proximity?

Why is it difficult to walk in the ways of others that I don’t agree with?


JOURNEY DEEPER
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