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The secret of successful mission

by on June 3, 2014

On Sunday we listened to Paul telling the secret of winning people for Jesus. From 1 Corinthians 9.

The secret is very simple: giving up your rights.

Instead of thinking about what was due to him, what he had a right to expect, Paul stretched himself a long way, in order to win different sorts of people.

He had a right to be financially supported. Gave that up so no one would think he was after their money.

He had a right to marry. Gave that up. Freed him up for ministry.

Had a right to live as a Jew: kosher, Sabbath, etc. Gave that up to reach Greeks.

Had a right to live free from the law of Moses, as a Christian free man. Gave that up to reach Jews.

Had a right to move among clever, powerful people. Paul was very highly educated. Gave that up to reach the weak.

Paul could have stood on these rights, but he had a goal ahead of him, a prize he was straining towards. For the sake of that prize he disciplined himself to do without. Without all these rights.

The prize? Seeing people won for Jesus. 

It’s like what athletes do. When they’re in training, if they are serious about winning, they give up their personal comfort. Pound their bodies and enslave them. They sacrifice their rights, accept endless hardships. All to get to the top.

Worth it? Athletes think so. They sacrifice so much, just to win medals. But Paul is winning people.

He was following Christ, who was rich but made himself poor to make us rich.

Worth it? Jesus thought it was.

Paul’s advice to us: don’t look for a comfortable life where you get to enjoy all your rights. There is nothing that wins people for Jesus like you giving up your rights for them.

Run so as to win the prize.

From → General

One Comment
  1. “Let this attitude be in you as was in Christ Jesus…” Phil 2 – I think that living in a ‘rights’ oriented culture Christians often forget that when we came to Christ we became slaves to righteousness set apart for his work. Great thought here today 🙂

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