This is a sharing done at church yesterday
If we compare Paul before and after Paul his conversation, you can see a big contrast. Before his conversation, he was a Pharisee, he persecuted Christians and threw them into prison. After his conversation to Christ., we can see him serving God greatly, he went through hardships and he sacrificed a lot for the Lord.
So how does Paul find strength in his ministry? This is something we ought to learn, for like Paul, we were chosen by Christ to serve him. He had given us responsibility to do divine work. Before Christ ascended to heaven he instructed his disciples.
“Go into all the world and
preach the gospel to every
creature. He who believes
and is baptized will be saved;
but he who does not believe
will be condemned.” – (Mk 16:15-16)
”teaching them to observe all
things that I have commanded
you; and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age.” – Jesus (Matt 28:20)
This is the mission given to us by the Lord Jesus. We need to understand that this work from the Lord is not in vain, for God will reward us just as he reward Paul. For Jesus once said
“The harvest truly is plentiful,
but the laborers are few.”- Jesus (Matt 9:37)
Jesus is talking about the ministry of the word of God.For the harvest is plentiful but the workers are indeed few. This message is not just for the disciples in those days, it is for us as well. Within the church there is much divine work to be done,in the last days the church must be like the bride ready for the bridegroom. The church must be ready to welcome the Lord. In order to prepare for it the church must have workers.
In another words the church must do divine work and seek to be perfect in all direction. God had given the church various gift and we need to use them to develope the church. We need to use these gifts to accomplish the ministry of his word. Therefore we need to learn from the spirit of Paul as he ministers.
Pt 1: Paul Realised That God Had Chosen Him Before His Birth
“But when it pleased God, who
separated me from my mother’s
womb and called me through His
grace, to reveal His Son in me,
that I might preach Him among
the Gentiles, I did not immediately
confer with flesh and blood,” – Paul (Gal 1:15-16)
Paul tells us that he realised that Christ had chosen him for the work before he is even born. God had chosen him to preach to the gentiles and that what he experienced. Let us look at ourselves in the church today. There are some of us born into the church while some converted as adults.
But God had chosen all us before we are born and Gods purpose is for us to preach the gospel, so no matter if we have believed as infants or if we have joined the church in our youth, we need to understand the will of God, the mission he had given to us. Let us realise this commission, let us accomplish the will of God and serve him in the ministry.
Pt 2: Paul Choose To Live For Christ
“For to me, to live is Christ,
and to die is gain. But if I
live on in the flesh, this will
mean fruit from my labor;
yet what I shall choose I
cannot tell.” – Paul (Php 1:21-22)
This is a testimony of Pauls commitment to the ministry. For him to die is gain and to live is Christ. Everything that he did, he did for Christ. He did not live his life in vain for he knew God had a reward for him. Paul had indeed suffered for the sake of Christ. He once shard with the Church in Corinth.
“From the Jews five times I received
forty stripes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods;
once I was stoned; three times I was
shipwrecked; a night and a day I have
been in the deep; in journeys often,
in perils of waters, in perils of robbers,
in perils of my own countrymen, in
perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the
city, in perils in the wilderness, in
perils in the sea, in perils among false
brethren; in weariness and toil, in
sleeplessness often, in hunger and
thirst, in fastings often, in cold and
nakedness” – Paul (2 Cor 11:24-27)
But all these suffering this did not make him give up. He did heis best to do the will of God. He did his best, and that is something we ought to learn from him. For he once told the Corinthian church
“Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be steadfast, immovable, always
abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that your labor is not in
vain in the Lord.” – Paul (1 Cor 15:58)
This message is for us today , it is a reminder for us to be steadfast and immovable in our faith. For our labor in the Lord is not in vain. For there is a reward awaiting us in heaven.
Pt 3: Paul’s Selfless Service With Love
Paul did not work for his own sake, his service is accompanied by his love for others. That love is the love that od had given him. That is why his service is not just for the sake of his own salvation but for the salvation of others as well. He spoke of this on 2 occasions.
“But what things were gain to me,
these I have counted loss for Christ.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss
for the excellence of the knowledge of
Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have
suffered the loss of all things, and count
them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” – (Php 3:7-8)
“For though I am free from all men, I have
made myself a servant to all, that I might
win the more;” – Paul (1 Cor 9:19)
From here we can see that Paul loss everything for the sake of Jesus. He count them all for lost for the sake of knowing Christ. Paul counted then as lost because of his love for Christ. He regarded all his worldly possession as rubbish. That is why his service is one that is full of love. It is the strength in his ministry.
He express the love of God. His service reflect the love of Christ to the rest of the world. That is why he told the Corinthian that even though he is free, he had made himself a servant so that he can win more for Christ.
Pt 3: Paul’s Humbleness
“of which I became a minister according
to the gift of the grace of God given to me
by the effective working of His power.
To me, who am less than the least of all
the saints, this grace was given, that I
should preach among the Gentiles the
unsearchable riches of Christ” – Paul (Eph 3:7-8)
If we were to examine the words of Paul, you will be able to see his attitude. The attitude of Paul is one we ought to emulate. Paul regarded himself as the least of the apostles. He acknowledge his humble beginnings. How he used to persecute Christian and torture them.
That is why he consider himself the least of the apostles , he regarded himself as the chief of sinners. That is why he is humble before others and his humbleness is something we ought to learn from.
For humbleness can attract others to follow us and impact the growth of the church. For in the last days there are many workers who thinks that they have receive many gifts from God. They feel that they have great authority in the church. Instead of building the church they became stumbling block to many brethren.
The gift of God is not given to us so that we can be proud and arrogant. It is used to glorify God therefore we need to use them humbly. We need to be like Jesus who is God who became flesh. He came in the flesh to save the world. He had set a good example and we must be as humble as Christ.
The same lesson applies when we are serving the Lord. For Paul regarded himself as the least important person, he acknowledge his weakness and he did his best to serve God. At the end of his life, he received a reward in the end.
If we were to read the last words of Paul
“I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race, I have
kept the faith. Finally, there is
laid up for me the crown of
righteousness, which the Lord,
the righteous Judge, will give
to me on that Day, and not to me
only but also to all who have loved
His appearing.” – Paul (2 Tim 4:7-8)
That is his song of victory, he had fought a good fight, he had did his best He had reach his finishing line, for he had finish his race. Most importantly he had kept his faith. God had promised to give him the crown of righteousness.
Likewise in our service we must do our best, We cannot stop halfway and we must never abandon this faith. We must keep our faith like Paul, and we will receive the crown of righteous and we will enter heaven.
We have learnt the 4 points regarding Pauls Spirit In Ministry. He realised that God had chosen him before creation. He choose to live for Christ and he reflect the love of Christ in his service. He is humble in his service.
If we learn the spirit of Paul we would be able to serve God effectively.