Paul was far more concerned with obeying his divine calling than with gaining man’s approval. Only one thing mattered – pleasing the Master.John F. MacArthur
One of my heroes in the Bible, aside from the Lord Jesus Christ, is the apostle Paul. His story talks about how God’s Justice and Love surpasses man’s understanding. There are lots of milestones in my life that the name of Saint Paul is included.
My first-grade section was called St. Paul, and I graduated with my BSN degree from St. Paul University. When I arrived in Canada, the first church I went to was St. Paul Parish. Moreover, I did my RN practicum at St. Paul Hospital. And to top it all off, I married a man named Pavlo (Ukrainian for Paul).
Coincidence? For others, it might be. But for me, it is an obvious sign that God wants me to learn from this unlikely apostle.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. --- Romans 1:16 ESV
Many people know the story of Paul, or Saul, which was his name before his conversion. He was a Jew who studied under the finest Jewish teacher and was firm in his traditions. He has a strong conviction in his beliefs and was ready to fight anyone who opposes it. That is why when followers of Jesus Christ – the 12 apostles and their disciples – were spreading the Gospel, Saul was one of the many Jewish who persecuted the early Christians.
Like me, I was a firm believer in the Catholic faith before I was converted. I can sit with someone and share what I know from my religious education classes. But I did not get to appoint where I have persecuted someone for their beliefs. Because I thought that whether you are a Catholic or Muslim, which is the two major religions in my country, you are worshipping the same god – which was a big error.
Jesus used Paul to proclaim the Gospel, specifically to the gentiles. Furthermore, Paul’s transgression before his conversions were paid for by Jesus Christ on the cross. He repented on the spot where Jesus met him on his way to Damascus. The Holy Spirit changed his heart of stone to a heart of flesh.
Let us reflect on Paul’s life with that of ours. Like him, we should not be ashamed or afraid to share the Good News of Jesus to everyone we meet every day.
This is the time for your journaling. Reflect on these questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to test your faith and your walk with Christ.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? — 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV
- Are you a follower of Christ? If not, what is holding you back?
- How brave are you to share with others what Jesus has done for you?
- Can you see yourself as being an Apostle Paul to your family and friends?
- How often do you bring up Jesus Christ and His Good News to others?
- Challenge: Speak to anyone about how Jesus affected your life.
Our Father, who art in heaven whose name is holy. We thank You for all that you have done for us. Especially for sending Your only begotten Son, Jesus, to save us from the chains of sin. Thank You for the Holy Spirit who renews and directs us every day to walk towards You. May, like the Apostle Paul, we will share the Gospel with other people unashamed. Bless us with boldness through the Holy Spirit and opportunities to share Your word to the world.
All these we pray in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.