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THE WEEKLY WORD: What would you give?

By Coulter Page, Pastor, Bethany Alliance Church

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.

— 1 Corinthians 9:13 (ESV)

This weekend we will celebrate the freedom we have in the United States. I am grateful for that freedom, especially when I look around the world at so many other countries that do not have the freedom we have.

We are very blessed. The mere fact that I am writing this devotional in a city paper is a great example of the freedom we have.

THE WEEKLY WORD: What would you give?
Pastor Coulter Page, Bethany Alliance Church

As we prepare to celebrate our freedom, I want to ask you one simple question – What would you be willing to give up so that someone would find and follow Jesus?

Paul writes a very challenging passage for us to wrestle with in our free society. First, he says he is “free from all.” Christ has set us free. We are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:15-23). This is amazing. We have been set free because Jesus gave his life. You and I have freedom.

Paul does not stop there. He then goes on to say that he had “made [himself] a servant to all.” (1 Corinthians 9:19)

Paul took it on himself, though he was not a slave, to become a servant to others. He laid down many of his freedoms for other people. His viewpoint was that his freedom was nothing in comparison to the chance that someone might find and follow Jesus.

That is why he gave up his freedom, “that I might win more of them.” (1 Corinthians 9:13). He was willing to lay down any freedom he had so someone else would have the chance to become a disciple of Jesus. His freedom paled in comparison to the prospect of more disciples being made.

Can you say the same? Are you willing to give up your freedoms for others? What would you give up so that someone would find and follow Jesus?

That is a hard question to answer. It slaps our way of life in the face and causes us to “look not only to [our] own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)

Are you willing to do that for Jesus? Are you willing to lay down what you have every right to for the chance that someone else might find and follow Jesus?

This weekend, celebrate your freedom you have in this country. Honor those who have and continue to make that possible.

And as you do, really think about what you would be willing to give up so that someone would find and follow Jesus. And if Jesus is calling you to give something up, do it this weekend!


Father, help me to be willing to follow Paul’s example. Allow me to be willing to lay it all down and be a servant of others to win more to Christ. Allow me to examine what I am holding onto that may be not helping win others to Christ or, even worse, pushing others from him, and then help me to lay it down. Help me to be more concerned with helping people find and follow Jesus over protecting my own personal freedom. Amen.

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