A New Way
For although I am free from all people, I have made myself a slave to all, in order to win more people.
1 Corinthians 9:19
In the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, sprinter Bob Hayes tied the Olympic record on his way to winning the gold medal in the 100-meter dash. Just a few months later, Hayes was dashing past defensive backs as a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. It was a radical idea at the time: taking a world-class sprinter and turning him into a football player. Hayes’s success altered defensive strategy and changed how football was played.
Coaches design drills to improve players’ technique and help them gain strength and increase their speed. These improvements are typically made in small increments: A few more yards are gained with the driver; a few more pounds are added to a bench press a few tenths of a second are shaved off the time for a 40-yard dash. Hours of work can go into making the smallest advance. But sometimes, an innovation occurs that radically redefines the way a sport is played, causing such a drastic change that teams and players are forced to adapt. They must trade in their wooden tennis racquets, move away from their wishbone offenses, or give up their steel bicycles. Those who refuse to adjust are defeated.
Christians must also acknowledge the power of innovation. While God is unchanging, the people who need Him are forever changing. Societies, cultures and tastes all change. As Christians, we must recognize this and alter the way we communicate God’s message of love and forgiveness to others. We must be creative in how we reach those who don’t know about the work and grace of Jesus Christ. If we fail to be innovative in our presentation of God’s message, the world will assume that the message is no longer relevant to their lives.
God wants us to bring others to Him. So let’s explore new ways of spreading God’s message of love and forgiveness.
1. How did Jesus communicate with His disciples?
2. As the disciples grew in their faith, how did they change?
3. What adjustments is God asking you to make in your life plan?
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
God, thank You that You never change. Lead me into new areas of growth for Your sake! Amen.