Partners in the blessing

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

I assume most of us consider the gospel to be a blessing.

The good news of Jesus Christ has saved us, set us free and redeemed us. There is rich language we use when we talk about the gospel’s work. It all incorporates how we experience the presence of God. So, considering God’s willingness to offer the gospel to us, of course we are blessed. We have received a most gracious gift.

The blessing, then, is what we receive. That idea is easy for us to consider. For example, we accept a new job as a blessing. A gift from a friend is a blessing. Having the opportunity to do something you love counts as a blessing.

Of course, we do receive more and more blessings. But we also take part in them.

More specifically, considering the gift of the gospel, we share in its blessing. The apostle Paul reminds us of this. His ministry mindset is to be a “slave to all” (1 Corinthians 9:19). That is, to share the gospel, he has become all things to all people. To do so requires to let go of your ego. You have to put behind some of your assumptions about what is proper or even ideal. You might even be uncomfortable at times.

Sometimes Christians carry the notion that we meet people where they are to bring them up where we are. That’s pretty presumptuous. We meet people where they are to share what we have learned about the goodness of God. The blessing is not that they start going to your church or start singing your songs. The blessing is the gospel has shown one more person the great love of God.

Now, there are many Christians, many churches that don’t even meet people. Do they know they’re missing half the blessing of the gospel? Paul says, “I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings” (1 Corinthians 9:23). Other translations draw our attention to the partnership language Paul understood. and used.

That part of the blessing of the gospel is our willingness to join its mission. Not just to receive it for our benefit. Not just to talk about it. But to submit our lives to its purpose. We are partners with God, and that is part of the blessing!

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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