1 Corinthians 9:17 If I do so willingly, I have a recompense, but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my recompense? That, when I preach, I offer the gospel free of charge so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. 19 Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew to win over Jews; to those under the law I became like one under the law--though I myself am not under the law--to win over those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became like one outside the law--though I am not outside God's law but within the law of Christ--to win over those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. 23 All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.
Are we willing to be a "ChameleonChristian"? What I mean by this is, are we willing do anything to get the gospel out there, as far as we can with a good conscience. Paul did when he became everything to everybody.
Where the Jews were concerned, he did not needlessly offend them. He did not attack and oppose their views, when there was no danger that his conduct should be mistaken. To those under the law (the law of Moses ), He also conformed to the rites, customs and even the prejudices of the Jews. And same with the Gentiles, He did nothing to oppose their veiws. In doing that he obtained their confidence and affections. He did this, so that he may not outrage them, excite their prejudices, and provoke them to anger; and that he might thus have access to their minds, and be the means of converting them to the Christian faith.
Are we willing to go that far, are we willing to put on a servant's heart, become a slave so that others around us can come to Christ? When you look at missionaries, a lot of them are what I would see as cameleon Christian. They learn a new language, they learn how to live in a different culture, they change their own culture to be excepted by the country folk they will be living amongst. Many of them live lowly lives. They eat the countries food, and that can take a lot of adapting.
We received an email last week from some friend's son who is a missionary in Bolivia. He was sharing how he was enjoying his lunch, while sending his emails out. He shared that at the moment he was sucking the skin off a grilled Iguana. Also, our pastor shared this morning about a mssionary who was in the jungle and the King of the Tribe, he was trying to witness to, asked him to share with him, one of their favorite Delicacies. He handed the missionary a 4 inch furry Caterpiller that will still alive and asked him to share in this Delicacy, the missionary ate it.. to please the King of the tribe.
Another missionary was given a large egg and then asked him to peel the shell off and inside was some sort of duck. He was expected to eat the whole entire duck, which he did in respect for the tribes men.
(I thought to myself as the pastor was sharing, not my kind of quacker! Just a little joke on the side. hehe. I know what a groaner)...my husband thought it was funny! *S*
The pastor asked the missionary, "Did you eat even the beak?" and the missionary laughed and said with dry humor , "No, I used that to pick my teeth!" *S*
Another dear couple Chuck and Alena Johnson. who are now in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ served in Bolvia years and years ago. They shared stories with us that would just amaze you. They lived on $80.00 a month. When they first arrived in Boliva they lived in the trees because they had to get the Tribes men to trust them. They ate monkeys, plant life or anyting that was edible. They had 2 children with them and had 2 more before then returned home. They were amazing people and they brought many many tribes folk to the Lord.
I really don't think I could go that far, my stomach is to weak, but then you never know what the Lord has prepared for us?
The question is, are we willing to be that kind of servant for the Lord. How far will we go to present the gospel to others. There are people all around us that seem to be so unreachable but Paul didn't care, He did what he had to do without compromising his stand. We have family members that we are afraid to offend. I know I am one of them, I am getting bolder but it is so hard when they are so unreachable. The bible does tell us, truth does divide, even families, but what's more important offending our family and friends and watching them follow the path to hell or offending them because of the truth and for the sake of their eternity.
I think what Paul was trying to teach us is, we can take on a servant's heart and be there for those around us, show them the love of Christ, don't brow beat them. I am not saying to agree with what they believe, but to show them that we are reachable, that we care and maybe then the door will open a bit so that they will listen. I see so many christians brow beat people in an unloving way, thinking they are doing them a favor when in fact they push people away from the gospel. Please pray for me that I can be more kinder and more of a servant or slave to others so that they can see Christ in me.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
(Luke 6:35 NKJV) ""But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
Our example........Mark 10:44-45 NNAS) and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.