I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.
God is asking us here to be an example to the world, to show ourselves as an extension of our Lord to love and care for others. We are to be faithful servants of Christ Jesus and stewards of the glorious grace that has been given unto us.
In Christ, as we minister to the unsaved, we are not to use God, the church, or our faith as a means of personal profit. Grace has been given unto us that we might impart that of which we have partaken and share it with others in need of salvation. Grace has not been so wonderfully poured out in our lives that we use it to seek our own profit. We are not to use our salvation as an instrument to obtain worldly profit and advantage, riches, or wealth. There are those within the Body of Christ who use the grace of our Lord as a tool for their own profit to obtain the rewards of life, ease, rest, and pleasure. That is not the purpose for which the blood of Christ was poured out, and those who in vanity, selfishness and pride misuse and apply God’s grace for their own agendas will be cast out as pure evil at judgment.
Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to me in that day, ‘My Lord, my Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, and in your name have cast out demons, and have done many mighty works in your name. Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
My personal version of Matthew 7:22-23 reads: Many will say to me on that day ’My Lord, My Lord, have we not preached and held large conferences/crusades with thousands in attendance proudly distributing programs with your name printed on every page, and on our cable television shows have we not cast out demons and healed the sick by asking viewers to lay hands on their television sets—as we prayed with them in your name, and have we not sold millions of books, DVDs and CDs using your name, often giving free CDs for a love offering of any amount to support our ministry—all these things in your name. Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
I’m not saying that all television, cable, crusades, and media ministries are inherently evil. The Bible says that by their fruits we shall know them—not by their jets, their large homes, or their bank accounts. I’ll leave it at that. You be the judge . . . No, let God be the judge.
God will bless His word and the testimonies of the words, preaching and ministry of those who use the Gospel for their own selfish gains: but He will never esteem them. Those who seek their own at the expense of the blood of Christ and precious souls are destitute of the spirit of His Gospel, unholy in their hearts, and unrighteous in their conduct.
As I look around me, in pulpits and on the airways I see many that appear as prophets in their own pulpits; how many writers, teachers, pastors, and other evangelical spokesmen, the miracles and teachings of whose ministry, learning, and words, we admire, who are nothing, and worse than nothing before God, because they perform not His will, but their own?
What a terrible consideration, and a blasphemy of God’s grace that there are those that God has bestowed such eminent gifts, whose ministries are sources of blessings received by believers, should be only as a guide in the way to eternal salvation in Christ, as they point out the way to others, without walking in it themselves!
We as recipients of the greatest gift ever given are to be servants unto the gospel and its purpose. Paul says, “I do what is best for others so that many may be saved”.
Paul neglects his own personal agenda, and anything else that would be an offence to others, or a hindrance to the Gospel for the means of promoting the spiritual profit and edification his fellow-man, that they might be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation. We are to follow this example that we might instruments of His grace for the spiritual good and salvation of the lost, by preaching the Gospel to them without having our own personal agendas and visions of personal profit from the presentation of the blood of Christ.
There are ministers and proclaimers of grace that have promoted themselves to “rock star” status as they are carted around the world in their private jets and chauffeured limousines, placing themselves far above those in the body that they are called to serve, giving away signed photographs of themselves, engrossed in their self-promotion and personal agendas.
But not Paul . . .
I dare say that there is not one among us that has the power of the calling and the ministry of Paul; and how did he act? He emptied himself and humbled himself for the glory of His risen Savior.
We see in Paul a noble act of self-denial and true greatness! How worthy of the grace that he received. What a great an example we have by his conduct. How noble, generous, and kind as his desire was to give to others. The grace of the Lord in him produced a nobleness of heart that resulted in his own personal sacrifice for the happiness of all those he came in contact with.
I have read stories of men and women in the early church that sold themselves into slavery that they might have access to share the gospel with the enslaved. I am humbled by these examples of such personal loss and humility to the cross, that the gospel and the richness of salvation might be shared with the lost.
1 Corinthians 9:22
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
I am made all things to all men –We can take this example and apply it to our own lives as instruments of His grace. In grace Paul shows as here that he gave up his own will, his own way, his own ease, his own pleasure, and his own profit, that he might save the souls of all that his ministry came into contact with. We are to be observant to follow this example, the end result and the manner in which he pursued his ministry and walk with Christ. It was not to get wealth, fame, endorsements, or honor, but to bring salvation to the lost! His ministry was not to enrich and glorify his own life, but rather his life was given as a sacrifice for grace that he had received for the sole purpose of those that were lost.
It is the glory of a believer, layman and minister to deny themselves that they may serve Christ and to reach the lost and save souls. Doing good in humility and kindness for the sake of others is to be the business of our life, that we might be like Paul, emptied vessels for His purpose to reach a lost and dying world, for His glory and not our own . . . In His Name.