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Tuesday: Paul ~ God’s Chosen Vessel — 7 Comments

  1. Paul is often held up as a mighty evangelist, often with the implication, "go thou and do likewise". However, it needs to be remembered that spreading the Gospel is not the work of one man or indeed one personality type. I have used the illustration of the local road-building project in this discussion previously and I think I can draw one more lesson out of it. There were hundreds of people working on that project and each of them contributed in some way. Some of the tasks seemingly had very little to do with road-building. There were the women who held the stop-go paddles, the people who collected the seeds from the existing vegetation, the guy who delivered the toilets and picked them up again. Not everyone drove a giant concrete laying machine or a huge bulldozer. Even the most menial task contributed something to the project. And they must have been committed because ultimately the project was completed ahead of schedule and for the last few months I have been able to drive to Tuggerah shopping centre, 30km away at 110kph nearly all the way.

    Paul has a great story to tell, but so does Lydia, John Mark, and all those other people that Paul mentions in his letters. Some of those people never set foot outside their village. They engaged with the local population. When Paul was chased out of a city for causing a riot with the locals, who were those who were left behind. They were those who preached the Gospel by the way they lived. They were the ordinary Christians, the foot soldiers of the Gospel.

    Read what Paul wrote to the Colosians. Here is a snippet:

    To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters[a] in Christ:
    Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
    Thanksgiving and Prayer
    We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people — the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. Col 1:2-6NIV

    Paul knew how important the unnamed workers were.

    • Yes, Maurice - and it always takes the Word of God - Jesus' Gospel message - to bring understanding to the heart and mind of the people who are willing to 'hear' it BEFORE they decide to follow its leading.
      God's Service of Love walks hand in hand with His Truth.

      A great example to bring this out is your choice of Gal.1:2-6; I am expanding it to include up to verse 15. My comments 'highlight' HOW people become foot soldiers of the Gospel.
      (v.5,6) - "For the HOPE which is laid up for you in HEAVEN, whereof ye HEARD before IN THE WORD OF THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL; WHICH is come unto you, as IT IS in all the world; and bringeth forth FRUIT, as IT doth in you, SINCE THE DAY YOU HEARD OF IT, and KNEW THE GRACE OF GOD IN TRUTH."
      (v.7,8) - " As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us YOUR LOVE IN THE SPIRIT."
      (v.9,10) - "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it(that they love Paul and his fellow ministers), do not cease to pray for you, and to DESIRE THAT YE MIGHT BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL IN ALL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING: (10)That ye might WALK WORTHY OF THE LORD unto all pleasing, being FRUITFUL in every GOOD WORK, AND INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE of God."

      Col.1:11-15 containes the remainder of expressions of Paul, himself having received HOPE and LOVE through hearing the Word of God. v.12,13 - "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the SAINTS IN LIGHT: Who hath deliverd us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:" (v.15) "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:"

      God's Words are spiritually discerned and grow in us the understanding that we are all 'foot soldiers' of the Gospel; they have spiritual value and transform the heart and mind - the nature - of those that hear them and believe!
      God's Spirit openes the ears(mind) and the hearts(emotions) of the hearers of God's Truth and believe, and DRAWS THEM TO WALK IN HIS LIGHT BY FAITH as they apply HIS Truth in their lifes.

      Before Truth is 'preached' - read, heared and experienced - there can not be a choice made to apply God's Truth - one is ignorant of HIS TRUTH!
      It takes the Spirit-empowered Word of God to turn man toward his God the Father and His messenger Son, our Savior Jesus the Christ.

  2. Today's illustration tells two stories:
    A) Saul (who became Paul) persecuted the followers of the Way, were they praying for him while he was persecuting them? Has someone hurt you, are you praying for them? Matt 5:44
    B) Paul devoted his life to the LORD and spreading the good news that the Almighty, all Powerful, Amazing Creator of the Universe cares for each person individually, but not everyone believed him and many turned around and persecuted Paul, he probably felt like now he was in the fire 2Cor 11:23-28 but still he prayed for them. Do people reject your witness? Do you still pray for them?

    They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God.John 16:2
    These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."John 16:33

    Do I love the LORD more than myself? Am I prepared to dedicate my life to him? Am I willing to only be the woman with the stop/go sign on the road or whatever the LORD calls me to be in His service?

    (Note the fire could be literal or symbolic)

  3. EACH of us were been call for the purpose. now we have see how paul fulfill his calling; he said i have forget the all things and have fought the good fought of faith.now we have see; they, whom were been call have fulfill his call. now i want to tell you let us fulfill our calling.

  4. Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 1 Sam 3:16
    Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Them said I, Here am I; send me.
    Isa 6:8

    What has God called you to do? Are you doing it?

    Throughout the bible Jesus had called people with a specific message. Jesus is still calling people with the same exact message. A message of Love. He calls us first, gave us the message then send us with the message to others. Others accept the message, they inturn, carry the message and it continues. But presently there seems to be a broken link in the message. Some who supposed to carry the message of love to a dying world does not want to carry it for many reasons. The message is being delayed and the Master is waiting on the messengers to take the message forward. Jonah 1:1-3. These verses show someone not wanted to take the message of love. Others took the message of love to a dying world. The message is found from Gen-Rev. It can be found specifically in Eccle 12:13-14; John 3:16-17; Rev 14:6-12

    Am I taking the message to a dying world- the world is my family in my household, my relatives, my work mates, my social media page, etc.
    The song Adventist Youth just came to me, how we are to take this message. We have a faith to share with others everywhere, a message of love from God above, to show the world we care. Are we showing the world we care about their soul salvation?

  5. It's all about the call. An old saying says,"Grow where you are planted." God intervened in a forceful way in Paul's life. We may be called by a still, small voice. The challenge is to be listening and to enthusiastically respond when we hear the voice. The chaos all around us will present opportunities to open conversations about what's happening from a spiritual perspective. God will equip us as he did Paul for the job He has for us.

  6. We each have a calling. It could be as simple as demonstrating the love of Christ through how we treat our co-workers and neighbors. We are an open Bible. Our actions and responses speak of the character of Christ. It begins with how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ. Do we reflect God's love, gentleness, kindness, joy, respect towards each other? Or are we into controlling and oppressing others?


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