09/01/2019: I BECAME!

I BECAME!              
I was wondering how it was back during the Apostle Paul’s days. I imagine it was pretty tough for him to reach out to the Jews and the Greeks, not to mention the Romans with the Gospel of Christ. I mean, we think we have it hard when we try to share Jesus with those around us; our Family, Friends, co-workers and so on. People on the street have their answers as to how to make it in to heaven and how to succeed. I have pondered over the idea of approaching a young person who has been making money by the thousands of dollars just by passing on drugs to children on school grounds. Imagine what would go through their minds when you tell them that Jesus Christ is the best way, and they find out that churches want to take as much money from them as they can. Or how about a street person who lives and sleeps in alleys or door perches, trying to stay warm in the winter? Could I go to them with my clean jeans and tee-shirt, my super warm jacket? NO!!!!! What did Paul do?  
1 CORINTHIANS 9:22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all Means save some.              
Which one of us have made the great effort to go out into this world, sacrifice all we have for the Gospel? I mean, who among us have gone out to the homeless as homeless ones. What great move have we made to win souls to the Kingdom, to see some, or as Paul said, all to Christ? Oh Pastor Larry, God wouldn’t expect me to leave my home and go out on the streets as a homeless person and live with them the way they live, God knows what I am able to do, and how far I will go. SHAMEON US!              
Saul, was for all practical understandings, a married man and he went about chasing down Followers of Christ and persecuting them, even unto the death. Then after he had his “in the hood” conversion to Christ he became a different man entirely. It was no longer about convicting them of heresy, but convincing them of Gospel. Paul knew that in order to reach the unsaved populace he had to endure hardship as a follower of Christ Jesus. He knew that in order to reach the lost he needed to think like them, understand like them, and live similar to them. He spent the rest of his days ministering to the people in a loving manner, as he would have wanted them to approach him.  
1 CORINTHIANS 9:19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, That I might win the more.              
The more I ponder over this message the more I am reminded of Dave Wilkerson and the story of how he won the soul of one of the hardest and meanest gang members New York City had ever known, “Nicky Cruze”. How Dave left his Family behind on the farm in Pennsylvania and went to New York to face Nicky on the streets, in his club house and wherever he could meet him. How Dave was challenged by one of the gang members who told Dave to give him his shoes, Dave did; and it was in the winter in NY. Dave kept confronting Nicky, then one day Nicky threatened Dave and said, “ If you don’t stop telling me that Jesus loves me I will cut you into a thousand pieces.” To which Dave’s reply was: “ And all of those pieces will cry out God Loves You Nicky!!”  
1 CORINTHIANS 9:26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box  in such a way, as not beating the air.              
In other words, Paul is saying that he does all that he does with purpose, he sets a goal to meet, he knows what he is going to do. He is not just a bunch of hot air, but filled with the “Air of Life”, and his words are not his own, but sent from Heaven above. Paul knew his audience, he knew the one who sent him, he knew the voice of the Spirit when it spoke to him. Do we?               If all we are is content to sit in a building and listen to other people talk about the Bible and what Jesus and God did, what great use are we to the Kingdom? Jesus and Paul spent very little time in the Tabernacle, or Sanctuary, they spent most of their time in the streets, homes and wilderness, reaching the hearts of the people where they lived, where their hearts were. I wonder, is it past time for the CHURCH OF GOD to get up from their comfortable pews, or chairs and do what God has called them to do? Go out into the streets and the fields and bring them in. Show them what life lived for Christ is like. Show them the JOY OF THE LORD in us.              
It is not enough to just tell them, but it is much greater to show them, by living it. Quit pronouncing defeat and start living VICTORY; cease speaking ailments and begin telling HEALINGS. Share the LOVE OF GOD to all you see! Stop hating, and ensuing hatred, but seek the healing powers of Love for one another.  
Lord, help me to become more like You, To see the good in others, to share the Love You have for us. Guide my footsteps On the path of Your plan. Help me to curb My tongue, show me how to guard my mind, How to protect my heart. Teach me the ways That Paul walked, that I too might walk in Like manner.
I ask this in the Name of JESUS CHRIST AMEN!