Tag Archive | apostle paul

Acts 20:35 ” In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said; ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “

Here in Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian Elders, he is urging them to fulfill the ministry laid out before them…to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel Message, and continue to give to the needs of the less fortunate.  And Paul’s words still ring true today.  As Believers, the Lord demands that we support and serve the widow, orphan, and poor among us.  Jesus reminds us in John 12:8 that we will always have the poor among us,  and assisting them will always be  an urgent, unavoidable necessity.  But we’ll also soon discover, by doing this helpful service, we receive something in return… a intangible blessing of God that words cannot express.

Galatians 1: 13-17 ” For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God , who set me apart from birth and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.”

We all have a past…those B.C. years (Before Christ) when we were far away from God.  But for some, their “But when God” conversion is a radical encounter.  Saul had a similar divine appointment on the road to Damascus when his idea of God was turned upside down.  His radical conversion was a 180 degree turn from his past…showing that with God anything is possible, and that no one is beyond the reach of our Heavenly Father.

Acts 18: 9-10 ” One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.’ “

Even Paul had times when he thought he was the only person in the world working for the Lord.  And when people verbally assaulted or berated him for the Gospel Message he likely wished he could just run away rather than stand up to them.  But God showed him in that vision that he wasn’t the only Believer in Corinth…that he needed to keep preaching the Good News despite the attacks…and that God was with him through it all.  For one of the biggest tools in the arsenal of Satan is to make us believe we’re alone and separated from God and others…out there by ourselves without any support.  But we’re not!

Philippians 1:3-4 ” I thank my God everytime I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy. “

Paul made it a habit of practicing gratefulness.  In not only this letter to the Philippians but in his letter to the Romans he showed his appreciation and encouragement.  In Romans 1:8 he writes, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you…”  Why did he do this?  Well, in Philippians 1:7 Paul goes on to add, “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart.”  Paul not only practiced a grateful heart, but he went on to affirm the good in people.   For when we show appreciation, say thank you, and speak positive words into someone…they are built up, edified, and given new self-worth.

I Corinthians 4:4 ” My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.”

Paul is admitting here that even the lack of self-awareness of any negligence on his part doesn’t prove his faithfulness and obedience to God…for only God can judge.  As Believers we are all held accountable to…responsible for…and entrusted with the Gospel Message.  To paraphrase II Corinthians 10:18,  We can’t just hear the Word to be in right standing with God…we must obey it.  And in the end, we will all stand before the Judgment Seat of our Lord.

I Corinthians 1:10 ” I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Even the early Church had problems with Church division, and here Paul was pleading with them to unite rather than split into factions.  For if you think about it, if the  local Church can’t come together and become one voice…how do we expect the world to follow suit?  When Jesus called those first disciples, He told them to “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17)  And if you look at the other meaning for the Greek word for “perfectly united”…  it means to mend or repair broken nets.  Now anyone knows you can’t catch fish with torn nets…so how can the Church expect to follow Jesus and be fishers of men when their nets are shredded with division and strife?   We as a body of Believers need to become perfectly united together, and mend our nets.

Romans 12:10 ” Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Later in the Bible, the Apostle Paul admonished the Church in Philippi to, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)  This has to be one of the toughest things to do given mankind’s self-centered, egotistic nature.   Instead of seeking out our own 15 minutes of fame, we need to be trying to outdo one another in showing honor.  Rather than demanding respect, we need to be recognizing others and praising them for important work they’re doing.  Vanity looks for fame and glory, while humility moves “self”  off the throne as we esteem others.