Happy Friday! While this week was a short work week for most, I’m certain we are happy to embark on another weekend. However, before we begin to celebrate I want to encourage you with a brief introduction into 1 Corinthians chapter nine, verses 19-23. Many of you know this nonprofit ministry exists to provide retreats, resources, etc., to women in shelters, dependent living situations, and recovery homes (e.g., domestic violence, human trafficking, pregnancy). While we extend ourselves to pray for, provide resume writing workshops and volunteer at there events, we know that our relationship with the women in these situations is essential to their healing. We recognize that we cannot simply put on events and expect a lifestyle change for the rest of their lives, but we can certainly plant a seed. As a result, we allow God to provide opportunities for us to get involved and understand the depth of their pain, be real with them and ourselves, and allow God to use us in small and big ways to show them the love of Christ. In today’s reading, you will learn that Paul allowed God to use him in any setting and under various conditions. As you read today’s verses think on the many ways that God can use you wherever you are. Enjoy today’s reading and your weekend.
19 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law,[e] I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.” – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NLT
Paul did not limit his teaching/preaching to the church or his Jewish heritage. Paul reached beyond the walls of the church, beyond the prestige of the Jewish community and he served God in any capacity, staying true to the word of God and ministered to people right where they were at in the world.
Sisters and brothers, while our work in the church is necessary, our work in the community and around the world is essential. Many people won’t attend a church but the will listen to authentic people who are invested in their lives.
Challenge for today and this weekend pray to God:
- ask him to work in you and transform your life;
- ask him to heal the brokenness in your life and help you to serve others;
- ask him how he wants to use you, pray about and write it down;
- ask him to equip you and give you an opportunity or opportunities to serve him where you are or where he is leading you.
Father God, thank you for all the things you have done and continue to do for us. Lord, we want to be used by you to help share and spread the Good News. Lord, we want to be obedient to the word of God and embrace the teachings of Christ Jesus. Lord, teach us your ways and build us up for the things you have called us to do. Lord, remove the excuses that the enemy floods into our minds to deter us from committing to you and the things you want us to do. Lord, help us to stand bold, but be humble enough for you to use us. Lord, be with the women, men, teens and children who are victims of human trafficking. Lord, send out your rescue teams to go save their lives and place them in safe environments. Lord, heal them mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Lord, give them hope and restore them. Lord, we pray for the survivors of human trafficking. Lord, thank you for getting them out of their situations. Lord, give them endless mercy and hope. Lord, get them back on a healthy path with people who are sincere in their love and care for them. Lord, we pray for the lost, least and the last and ask that you draw them closer to you. Lord, bring stability and salvation into their lives. Lord, be with the volunteers and staff who work amongst them (e.g., victims and survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and former and current addicts). Renew their hope, spirit and energy to continue the work that you have called them too. Lord, be with each reader today. Speak to them where they are in their lives and guide them through today. Lord, continue to transform their lives, help them to serve you and your people, but most of all Lord help them to experience a personal relationship with you. Lord, allow that relationship to over follow beyond what they ever hoped for or imagined. Lord, give us all a heart that beats for you. Thank you for all you do. In Jesus name, amen.
Keep praying! Keep Trusting! Keep believing!
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