Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Part 4: Perfect Pairings (Luke 5:37-38)

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. (Luke 5:37, 38 NASB)

Wine connoisseurs have very specific pairings for their wines. The choice of a particular food/wine combination is based on which wine best enhances and complements the flavor of the food. Characteristics like food texture, aroma, and method of preparation all enter into the choice of pairing. Generally speaking, a white wine would be paired with fish or chicken while a red wine would be paired with beef or lamb. (You can read more about this from WikiHow or just Google it). 

The point is that no wine is suitable for every food. In that same way, no one way of sharing the gospel will be effective for every person. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote:

"19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible... 22b I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."
1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Paul was one of the most effective evangelists of all time because he took note of the individual and their characteristics. He tailored his presentation of Christ to what they could best understand and to which they could easily respond. It was the same gospel, the same Christ, but presented in a fresh way for each person he met. It was exactly the way Christ met the individual. To some He offered living water, to some the bread of life, but for all He was the spotless Lamb of God come to take away their sins. 

Not every person comes to Christ by the preaching of Billy Graham or the prison ministry of Chuck Colson. In fact, the majority of people come to Christ because of a divinely perfect pairing between seeker and believer. For many, that pairing happens when their friend meets Christ first and shares the Good News with them. Today, pray that those in our loved ones' circle of influence will be so excited  about their relationship with Jesus that they cannot fail to share it in a way that is irresistible. Pray for the perfect seeker/believer combination that leads to life everlasting and fills our loved ones with the sweet aroma of Christ.