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I Entered Their World

I Entered Their World

24 March 2010

Today’s Reading: Joshua 18-20; 1 Corinthians 9

Scripture:

19 Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. (1 Corinthians 9:19-22 MSG)

What an amazing transformation had taken place in Paul! He had been one of the most legalistic Jewish Pharisees, but when he was transformed by the power of the Good News and when Jesus began to live in him, he did something that Christ himself had done – he entered the world of others.

Especially in the early days, it must have been a real challenge for Paul to eat with Gentiles, to attend events and participate in things that were so foreign to his upbringing and experience. But Paul was determined to reach a “..wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever.” In order to do that, he “..entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view.”

In every nation and culture I’ve visited, things are changing rapidly. Standards are shifting, values adjusting, behavior changing. We too are called to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized – whoever!

To fulfill that mission, we’ve got to move outside our comfort zone, enter the world of people who live and think much differently to us, and try to experience things from their point of view. It would be easier to be narrow, but we won’t settle for that.

Prayer:

Father, help me not to miss the joy and privilege of being part of reaching “whoever.” Help me to always remain willing to enter the world of others and try to experience things from their point of view.

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