whatever it takes.

Posted on November 1, 2011 by Phil

Ask yourself: are you willing to do whatever it takes to see people come to Christ?

Read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Think about verse 19.

What did Paul mean when he said he made himself a slave to everyone?

What’s difficult about that idea?

How do verses 20-22 apply to your life today? How have you become like others in order to show them Christ’s love?

When have you NOT followed these instructions? What happened?

How do Paul’s instructions relate to how Jesus lived His life? Explain.

Is there anything you should NOT do or say in order to share Christ with others? Why or why not?

This was a difficult passage for me when I was in high school. I was taught that I was to be different from others to demonstrate God’s work in my life. Yet these verses seemed to say I should act like others.

Yes, relationships with unbelievers are necessary in order to share God’s love, but not at the expense of living a life that’s pleasing to God.

So how do we balance? Jesus showed us how. He was in constant relationship with God. Jesus’ inner circle was a group of men who yearned to love God more. But Jesus also spent time with so-called sinners. He ate with them; He talked with them. He was their friend.

Do you have a group of believers who help encourage you and hold you accountable? Do you develop relationships with non-believers? How can you share the hope of Christ with someone this week?


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BUT IT’S MY RIGHT! WRONG.

Posted on October 25, 2011 by Phil

We are big on rights in this country, as we should be. Even at Camp Crestridge we feel like it is our right to do certain things or have certain opportunities. However, there is something that supersedes rights in the kingdom of God—moving the gospel forward.

Read 1 Corinthians 9:1-12. Concentrate on verse 12.

What was Paul upset about in this passage?

Why is it important to provide for ministers and missionaries?

How can you help those in the ministry this week? This doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary assistance!

How could the message of Christ have been hindered by Paul demanding the people provide for him?
What’s more important, having material possessions or spreading the message of Christ? Explain. How do you show this in your life?
What rights do you need to give up in order to share Christ’s love with others?

Unless you work at a church or are a missionary, this passage may be one you routinely skim over. Maybe you think, What does pay for ministers have to do with me? This passage reflects a bigger truth, though. Paul was describing a God-given right that he had. According to God, he was entitled to provision from the people to whom he was ministering. That should sound familiar to you. As Americans, we defend, protest, and write our legislators, all in the effort to claim what is ours! But Paul refused to use this right. He chose to go without so that the message of Christ could be proclaimed. Wow. What a shift in perspective! How could you go without something you deserve this week in order to honor God? Are you willing to make that sacrifice?


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