“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
I Corinthians 9:19-22 NKJV
The media and the message
I love worship music! I have amassed a large number of selections in my iTunes library. I get a lot out of my Apple Music subscription. I find that I can’t start my day without the sound of music exalting the glory of my great God. I have found that my music comes in a wide variety of genres, I have some blues, some kinda bluegrass oriented stuff, a lot of music that is simply majestic, crossing a wide variety of genres.
Though the media of worship comes in a lot of different flavors, it all shares the same key ingredient: it glorifies the Lord from the point of view of creation worshipping the creator. The focus is God. That is the essential thing. I avoid music that is “me” focused, dwelling overwhelmingly on what He has done for me. I want my worship to be about Him in His glory, not a story of what He has done for me lately.
In going out to the world to bring the message of the Gospel, I seek to vary how I do it. I let the spirit lead me. In passage I read today, I am reminded of the right way to reach those Jesus came to save. Paul humbled himself to reach all different types of people. We all come to faith with a wide variety of dimensions to us. I have weakness, strengths, experiences, and cultural realities that allow me to bring Jesus to a lot of different people.
I remember being in a ministry called Celebrate Recovery. I was transparent and vulnerable as I shared my story time and time again. I was amazed how God would use that time of transparent humility to allow me to share with others. The transformation of the human life, offers hope to people who want that amazing work of God to happen in their lives. They latch on to the story and hear the truth.
There is also danger. Though Paul became what he needed to share the Gospel, the message never changed. He brought the same story of Jesus crucified, of His burial and resurrection. There are those who seeking to make the message relevant. They soften the message of salvation to address some cultural reality. In this time of seeming racial strife, people are going out and talking about socially relevant topics under the guise of sharing the Gospel. Sadly, very little is really said about the sinful state of those being reached.
I am happy that I heard the Gospel when I did, sitting in an all white church, listening to the voice of a Southern white man telling me I was a sinner. The word of God pierced my heart and set me free. My culture was irrelevant. I needed Jesus.
Believers, go out a tell of this great salvation. Tell of the God that saves the jew and the Greek, the male and the female, the black and the white. Be vulnerable where needed, weak with those who are weak. Be humble always, knowing that it is by grace that you have been saved.
Preach the message of the Gospel to the souls of the people. Remember that hell awaits, and it is equal opportunity. Never sacrifice the message of the Good News on the altar of cultural relevance.
Enjoy your Sunday!