Tuesday, January 3, 2012

All things to all men

So would you eat this if it was in front of you for supper? Or better yet how far would you be willing to go to reach someone who needed Jesus?

One of the many values I have in my life is to do whatever it takes to reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is so very precious to me, yet I do not want to spend the majority of my life keeping it all to myself.

The meal above is a favorite of our Cambodian kids that we have rescued and it was one of my first meals in Asia on a mission's trip. I was seated around a table with a group of people we wanted to reach and in my soup were 2 chicken claws. Now to this American it seemed like I was getting the leftovers, yet for the Cambodians it was a delicacy. I said a quick prayer and asked God to help me to eat it.

I have eaten plenty of foods and passed a few things under the table so that I would not offend one's generosity, so that I had a foot to stand on when it came to sharing Jesus with others. Most of you know that I do not drink any kind of alcohol whatsoever, never have and never will except on one mission's trip. It is a personal choice of liberty I have made for a variety of reasons. On one occasion in Vietnam on an exploratory evangelistic mission's trip I was handed a beer and a glass of rum to drink. It would have offended the Doctor's hospitality if I refused to sip on the alcohol. I had a tough decision to make, but was already prepared ahead of time for this moment. You see before I left I asked people in my church to pray for me and to not let this one sip of Alcohol create a hunger for more in my life.

As I drank the Alcohol there was great peace knowing that I was doing this for the cause of Jesus and to reach this young doctor for Jesus. I didn't make a big deal about it, just prayed that God would use this sacrifice for me for his good. You see in my background are many alcoholics and I never want to feed something that I might have a predisposition towards.

As for chicken feet I pushed them down my throat because one soul is worth a few gags if the seed of the Gospel gets planted. All that to say this; we must be open to use great wisdom and judgement in order to reach others for Jesus. For you it might mean sitting in a group of people who look different then you, or spending time at a gathering where it is obvious you do not fit in. 

I encourage you to be willing to do whatever it takes to reach someone  without sinning so that they too can experience the life-changing power of Jesus Christ! 


Don Julian said...

Well said Jim.

Natalie said...

I was a missionary in Ecuador for awhile and my "family" had their favorite and special meal often of broth with chicken parts...they always gave me the claws:)