Telling Your Story ~ Weekly Devotionals ~ Week 7 by Rev. Dana Werts

Day 1  Be Alert: Set Your Spiritual Radar on High                     Luke 19:1-10

“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today. ‘ So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.’ But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’” NIV

One hectic day, I rushed into the grocery store to run an errand. In the checkout line, my eyes fell on the word, “faith,” tattooed on the young lady in front of me. After checking out, I hurried to my car and prepared to travel to my next appointment. Suddenly, I looked up and there she was—the tattooed young woman, carrying a heavy load of grocery bags, walking towards the street. I didn’t have time; I didn’t know her. But, I felt the pull of the Spirit and pulled up next to her, offering her a ride. “I was praying that someone would help me, and then you stopped,” she said.

Jesus looked up and saw Zacchaeus. If anyone was overcommitted, bombarded by distractions, and preoccupied with deep thoughts, it was Jesus. Yet his spiritual radar was set on high, and Jesus saw this little man, hidden among the branches of the sycamore tree. Before we can share our stories, we have to be aware of those who need to hear.

Reflection: Is your spiritual radar on high? Who does God want you to invite to the banquet of God’s love?

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to see as you see. Move me from my own selfish agenda to really see the people you have placed in front of me who need your love. Amen.

Day 2                                      Be Bold-Take a Relational Risk                              John 4:7-10

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’” NIV

I was preaching a sermon on homelessness, and wanted to interview a homeless person. At the church’s soup kitchen, Larry and I discussed his experiences living under the bridge. This turned into a relationship that continued way beyond the sermon. We kept in touch through email, even after Larry moved away, and I was blessed to find out he now has a job and a home.

Larry shared with me that he longed for others to look at him as being human, instead of being seen as “vermin.” It was a gift for someone to look him in the eye and smile, instead of avoiding him, afraid he might ask for a handout. Taking a risk relationally, I was deeply moved by how much God used Larry to teach and bless me, when I thought I would be the one helping Larry.

God took a relational risk, entering our world in Jesus Christ. God risked rejection, misunderstanding and ridicule to reconcile the relationship between God and the people God created. Jesus reached out to the woman at the well to share “living water,” taking a relational risk, especially in that culture. We cannot share our God stories, if we will not take relational risks. Maybe the first step is to really look others in the eye and smile, acknowledging their worth, even if they are different from us.

Reflection: Are you willing to risk a relationship with someone you don’t know to love them as Christ loves us? What first step do we need to take to reach out?

Prayer: Lord, let our loving be bold. Let our actions and words reflect your bold love for us. Amen.

Day 3                          Be Real– Let Your Life Song Sing              2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” NIV

Some say that music is most powerful when it contains notes of dissonance, sounds that produce tension and a desire to be resolved. Concerned about what others think about us, we often want only our achievements and strengths to be the notes of our life song. However, it is those dissonant parts of our lives that sometimes speak most powerfully to others – the sin overcome, the fear removed, or the weakness that leads us to depend on God. Sharing honestly conveys that there is tension in the Christian life, places of weakness that we desire to be resolved, transformed. It is risky to be transparent to the world, but it is through honest testimony that God can speak with power to those who struggle with weakness and sin.

I struggle with Attention Deficit Syndrome. My desk reflects my struggle with organization. I finally confessed my need. Without judgment, a woman at church offered to organize my files. Her strength met my weakness and I was overwhelmed with thanksgiving and joy! God is able to harmonize our dissonant notes as we open our lives honestly to the love of God. This song of hope sings to the world, in need of healing and in need of joyous song.

Reflection: What are your dissonant notes or your areas of weakness? Does your life song proclaim to others the transforming power of God?

Prayer: Lord, I offer my life to you with all its conflicting notes and unresolved issues. Create a new song of thanksgiving that bears hope to the world. Amen.

Day 4              Be Persevering—Don’t Give Up      1 Corinthians 13:7, Matthew 13:1-23

 It [love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” NIV

“Then he [Jesus] told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.’ The disciples came to him and asked, ‘Why do you speak to the people in parables?’ He replied, ‘Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the Word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the Word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the Word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the Word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the Word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.’” NIV

What kind of farmer is this sower in the parable? If he knows that the seed will only grow in good soil, why not plant it there? Isn’t that a waste to sow good seed in places it probably won’t grow? Isn’t that so like God? God’s love is poured out on all, grace given freely, even if there is no guarantee of a harvest. God knows that some will fall into the hearts of those ready to respond. God’s love never gives up on us.

There was a youth at the church who tried my patience, pushed my buttons, and hurt my feelings repeatedly. Yet, I could see below the surface, a beautiful girl, gifted to serve. I wanted to throw in the towel, more than once, but God’s loud whisper in my soul was, “Keep loving her, don’t give up on her.” Some years later, she came to me and apologized for how difficult she had been to me. She was glad I never gave up on her. I rejoiced in knowing she was growing into her faith and using her gifts. God’s love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Reflection: How can you scatter the seeds of God’s love with no guarantee that someone will respond? Are you able to share your story with someone who rejects your words, and still continue to love them?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for never giving up on me. Enable me to love with your relentless love that gives with no expectation of return. Amen.

 

Day 5  Be Simple. Let Your Light Shine, But Not Your Words Confuse    Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” NIV

Christian leaders sometimes like to use a lot of big “churchy” words, like sanctification, incarnation, and redemption when we preach and teach. Even words like glory and sin may not be clear to those who have not grown up in the church. Other Christians avoid sharing their faith because they feel inadequate to explain religion and believe they should leave these conversations for pastors. Jesus never used the word justification or atonement. He just told stories about sowing seeds and letting our light shine.

I was leading an after school program for middle school students in the community. Around Christmas, I had a nativity scene set up. One of the students asked me what that was about. I was caught off guard. There are some things we assume everyone understands. I started talking about the shepherds and the star, and then he picked up one of the wisemen and said, “Is this God?” I realized that this student had no biblical background. I said a silent prayer and began to tell the story of Joseph and Mary. I shared Mary’s encounter with the angel and that she became pregnant with God’s son, Jesus. The boy rolled his eyes, and exclaimed, “And Joseph believed that story!”

Reflection: Are we able to share our personal faith stories with simple words and illustrations? If someone asked you who Jesus is, would you be able to share that in a way that was simple and understandable?

Prayer: Lord, enable us to share the story of your love in language that others can understand. You are always accessible to ordinary people. Let our words be simple, yet powerful expressions of your love. Amen.

Day 6                                      Be Loving—Imitate God                              Ephesians 5:1-2

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” NIV

The word “imitate” in Ephesians 5:1 is mimetes in the Greek, from which we also get our words: mime, imitation, and mimic. With no props or words, mime artists can convince you they are climbing a ladder, eating an apple, or other actions. Professional mime artists learn their moves by carefully observing and then copying exactly those actions. Jesus was the perfect mime of God. We are called to observe his actions carefully and do likewise, even offering our lives sacrificially.

I visited a friend who is well advanced in age, frail in body, and mostly confined to her home. Always active in service, she has been discouraged by her physical condition and asked, “What can I do now?” I reminded her that she can now devote her life to loving, which she is very gifted to do. Her words, her prayers, and her ability to make all who visit her feel loved is a holy service to God. When I leave my friend’s home, the fragrance of Jesus lingers in my spirit.

Reflection: How can you imitate God in the example of Jesus in your encounters with others? Do your non-verbal actions reflect your internal faith? How can you live a life of love, rather than just a life of busy?

Prayer: Lord, let me remember how dearly loved I am as your child. Enable me to live my life with integrity, expressing my faith through loving actions. Transform me into the image of Christ. Amen.

Day 7                          Be Praying—Be Ready to Tell Your Story             Colossians 4:2-6

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” NIV

In the intersections of the world, in our jobs, our neighborhoods, and our families, there are people who need to be invited to God’s banquet of abundant life. We scatter the seed of God’s love on everyone, shine our light into dark lives, and live a life of love. As we pray, we invite God to interrupt our lives with opportunities to share our God story and amazing things happen.

I missed my connection due to a mechanical problem with the plane and now had two hours to kill while I waited for the next flight. As I grumbled about this delay, I heard the song, “My Favorite Things” from the musical “The Sound of Music.” I laughed, as I wasn’t sure thinking of my favorite things would make everything better, but I prayed that God would use this delay for God’s purposes. Much later, I boarded the plane, and a young soldier in uniform sat down next to me. As we took off, he started singing, “My Favorite Things” quietly. All I wanted to do was sleep on this late flight home, but the Spirit’s alert was loud and clear. This was no coincidence. I took a chance and started a conversation with the young man. This led to a spiritual discussion about his life and a chance to share my God story.

Reflection: Have you prayed for opportunities to share your story? Are you willing to allow God to interrupt your life for a greater purpose?

Prayer: Lord, I pray that this day, you would use us for your purposes. Open our eyes to your divine appointments and give us the boldness to speak honestly in love. Amen.

Telling Your Story ~ Week 6 ~ Daily Devotional by Rev. Sherri Comer-Cox

Day 1              Shared Faith. Knock-knock. Who’s There?                      Luke 11:9

“So I say to you, ‘Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.’” NRSV

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Luke.

Luke who?

Luke through the peep hole and find out.[1]

Knock, knock jokes are a familiar part of childhood. Just say the words “Knock, knock” and we automatically know what we are supposed to say next, “Who’s there?” The thing that makes knock-knock jokes work is not the “punny” punch line. It’s the “Who’s there?” Without someone to ask the question “Who’s there?” there is no joke.

As a shy, overweight, and awkward child, I was obsessed with knock-knock jokes. It was the one way I was sure that people were listening. So when I prayed I would begin, “Knock-knock, God.” In my young heart I knew God was listening because I said, “Knock-knock, God,” and I imagined God answering, “Who’s there?” As an adult my prayers have changed, however, there are still times I say, “Knock-knock, God.” Whenever I feel that my prayers are only making it to the ceiling, or I need assurance that God is listening, I begin my prayer, “Knock-knock, God.” Instead of imagining God answering, “Who’s there?” I imagine God saying, “Come in.”

Jesus said in Luke 11:9 that if we knock the door will be opened. When we pray we can have assurance that God is listening and invites us in.

Reflection: Have there been times when you felt that God did not hear your prayers? What did you do? How do you experience God hearing your prayers? Is there a story here that you can share with someone else who might have had that same experience?

Prayer: Knock, knock, God. I know you are listening and that you invite me in. Help me to search for you and hear you when you say, “Come in.” Amen.

Day 2                                      Wrestle with the Word                     2 Timothy 3:16-17

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” NRSV

As a seminary student I was challenged to “sift through Scripture.” Until going to seminary I thought I was supposed to read my Bible but not fret about the parts that were confusing to me. However, in seminary I had to wrestle with Scripture I did not understand. In wrestling with the Word I learned to read Scripture in context of who the first readers of Scripture were and through the lens of their cultural, economic, and geographical background. It was challenging, but prepared me as a pastor and a disciple of Christ.

In 2 Timothy, Paul tells us that all Scripture is inspired by God and useful for us. Even the parts we find confusing or challenging. The amazing thing about the Bible is that it is useful for every person in every country in whatever situation they are experiencing. Most of us have bought books that tell us how to diet, to invest our money, or succeed at something. I confess I have a stack of “How To Books” somewhere in my house. Although I own these books, they are useless unless I actually read them. Just like owning a diet book does not make a person skinny, owning a Bible does not equip us for every good work. We have to actually read, sift through, and wrestle with the Word because it is “useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

Reflection: What is the biggest challenge for you in reading the Bible? What can you do to overcome it? What would you say to someone who says, “I don’t understand the Bible and when I read it I don’t get anything out of it?

Prayer: God of Word and Wonder, thank you for speaking to me through Scripture. Help me with the Scripture I find challenging and open my ears to hear you when I read and meditate on your Holy Word. Amen.

 

Day 3              ”Where Have You Seen God?”                   1 Corinthians 12:4-11

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.” NRSV

As someone who loves to preach, I sometimes forget that there are those who have a fear of public speaking. So, when we began having a time of praise and testimony in our worship service I was disappointed that more people did not speak up when asked the question, “Where have you seen God in your life this week?” I was thrilled that some people would share their praise and joys but still felt a sense of frustration that more people did not share. When I shared my frustrations with a member of the worship team she set me straight. She asked me if I liked to cook. I answered with a swift and loud, “No!” “Why not?” she asked. I explained that cooking was a chore for me and I dreaded planning daily meals, grocery shopping, and cooking…I would rather… “Give a speech?” she asked. She then reminded me that some of the folks who did not speak up during the praise and testimony time of worship are the same folks who serve the church and Kingdom of God in humility and grace. Point taken.

God gives all of us gifts, talents, and strengths. Some people can share their testimony and joys with their voices. Others answer the question, “Where have you seen God?” through their service to others. The important thing to remember is it is the same Spirit, the same Lord, who receives the praise!

Reflection: What gifts and talents do you have that help you answer the question “Where have you seen God?”

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for gifting me with everything I need to see you in my life. Help me to use the gifts that you have given me so that others might see you through me. I give you all the praise and glory for my life! In Christ’s name, Amen.

Day 4                                      I’m Just Sayin’                                              1 Peter 4:11

“If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” NRSV

There is a popular phrase that I hear or say oodles of times a day. I bet you have heard it or even said it, too. “I’m just sayin’.” It’s a funny little phrase that we use at the end of some sort of declaration. Sort of like, “That’s the way I see it, I’m just sayin’.” I started thinking about that pithy phrase a few days ago. It is easy to just say, but it is the doing that is a little more challenging. There is another phrase that I have heard, “All talk, no walk.”

In today’s Scripture passage, Peter lumps all the spiritual gifts into two categories: speaking and serving. These gifts are not to be used separately but together so people will know Jesus, and God will be glorified. In God’s infinite wisdom, God gifted some to speak and some to serve. What would the church look like if it was “all talk”? Whether we are speaking for God or serving God, the important thing to remember is that even though we provide the willingness to speak or serve, it is God who provides the strength. Peter also tells us that when we speak and serve, it should be for God’s glory, not ours. I’m just sayin’.

Reflection: Do you feel more comfortable speaking or serving? If you are more comfortable speaking, how can you use it in unison with serving? If you are more comfortable with serving, how can you use it in unison with speaking? Examining where we lead best can empower us to share our stories in new ways.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for a voice to speak and hands and feet to serve and I pray that you give me opportunities to glorify you. May everything I say and everything I do praise you! In the name of Jesus the Christ, Amen.

Day 5                                      Selective Hearing                              Romans 10:14-18

“But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our message?’ So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for ‘Their voice has gone out to all the earth and their words to the ends of the world.’” NRSV

A few years ago my husband and I noticed that we were having a communication problem. We were always saying, “You didn’t say that” or “You didn’t ask me to do that.” After a few weeks of this we realized that it was not what was being said, but what was being heard. This is a common condition in marriages that you may have also experienced; Selective Hearing. It can be extremely frustrating to tell someone something and realize that they have not heard a word you said. A friend of mine deals with this condition by beginning every important conversation with the word “football” because she knows that will get her husband’s attention. How many of us as youngsters acted like we did not hear our parents calling us because we wanted to avoid a punishment or some chore?

Sometimes this is our response to God. We hear only what we want to hear. Jesus used the phrase, “If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear”[2] eight times in Scripture to get people’s attention. We use selective hearing with God because we do not want to do what God’s Word tells us to do. After all, God’s Word may tell us to change the way we are doing something, forgive someone we don’t think should be forgiven, or go somewhere we don’t want to go. Selective hearing is a chancy thing when it comes to hearing God’s voice. If we are not listening to God’s voice when God asks us to do something difficult, we may not hear God speak love and grace to us, either. What would it look like when we pray to keep our hearts and ears tuned in to what God may say? Faith comes from hearing. As we listen for God’s voice in our lives, we should be ready to do what God calls us to do, even if it means speaking love and grace to someone who has selective hearing.

Reflection: Do you think you have selective hearing with God? Has there been a time that you felt God telling you do something uncomfortable (such as sharing your testimony, feeding the hungry, or giving to the poor) and you ignored God? What was the source of your selective hearing?

Prayer: God, there are times I want to hear you and times I ignore you when you call. Please help me to listen with my heart and my ears when you speak, and give me the strength to do what you say. Amen.

 

Day 6                                      The Golden Rule                               Matthew 7:12

“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.” NRSV

This little Bible verse, the Golden Rule, is one of the most quoted verses in the Bible. It’s a simple concept; treat others the way you want to be treated. Many of us try to keep the Golden Rule, but at times it is difficult. If you have ever driven on the beltway into Washington D.C. during rush hour, you know what I mean! We think of the Golden Rule as a way of showing kindness to our fellow human beings. But is that all there is to it? A dear friend showed me another way to live the Golden Rule as a follower of Christ. “What is the best thing anyone has ever done for you?” she asked. “The best thing anyone ever did for me was to tell me about Jesus” I answered. I continued, “It’s the best thing Christians can do for others.” “Then as disciples of Christ who obey the Golden Rule and do to others as we would have them do to us, why aren’t more Christians sharing the Good News?” Her understanding of the Golden Rule humbled me.

If you have experienced God’s forgiveness and saving grace, you understand what an amazing gift it is. I am so grateful to the woman who cared enough to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with me. As Christians obeying and living the Golden Rule, we have a motivation to share the Good News with others. One of the best things we can do to others, as we would have them do to us, is share the saving grace of Jesus Christ and proclaim the Good News!

Reflection: Who told you about Jesus? How are you going to live the Golden Rule and in everything do to others as you would have them do unto you?

Prayer: God, sometimes it is difficult to treat others the way I want to be treated. Help me live the Golden Rule and tell others about Jesus, just as someone shared the Good News with me. In Christ Jesus, Amen.

 

Day 7                          All Things to All People                   1 Corinthians 9:19-23

“For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people; that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the Gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.” NRSV

In my life before becoming a United Methodist pastor, I was a preschool teacher and I loved teaching the children in my care. One of the main things I learned as a preschool teacher is that I had to speak on their level. Most of the time that meant getting on my knees so I could also be on their eye level. My voice and language changed when I spoke to the children. I adapted myself to the children’s world. I used words like “doggie” or “poopie.” I also learned about the things that the children liked. To this day I can still sing most of the Barney and Sesame Street songs! Using child-like words and learning to sing silly songs did not change who I was, but it did help me identify with the children and it helped them to trust me.

I think this is what Paul was telling us in today’s Scripture. When witnessing, Paul adapted himself to the situation in order to share the Gospel in a way that could be understood by those listening to the message. Paul crossed cultural, religious, political, and economic barriers to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Although Paul was flexible in his methods, he never compromised his faith. When we share the Good News of Christ we must remember the lesson from Paul. The way we present the message may change in order to speak to a particular group of people, but the message does not change. In order to reach every person everywhere, we need to learn how to become all things to all people without compromising the message so that people will be saved. As we do this for the sake of the Gospel, we will share in the blessings of God’s grace!

Reflection: How do you identify with people who are different than you? What can you do to help you identify with others for the sake of the sharing the Good News of Christ?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your saving work on the cross. When Paul walked the earth, he became all things to all people in order that “some might be saved” by sharing the good news of Jesus.[3] Help me to be like Paul so I can be all things to all people in order to save some. In Christ’s name. Amen.

[1] http://www.funology.com.

[2] Mark 4:23, NIV.

[3] 1 Corinthians 9:22, NIV.