Do we ever take a spiritual notice or any notice at all that before he delivers his message, how Paul introduces himself? He states that he is “a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,” This led me to the convicting question- what qualifies us to spread the gospel? Thank you Holy Spirit.
You can read about his journey of events that led to his conversion for him to make such an entitlement beginning in the book of Acts 7:54-59; Acts 8:1-3; and Acts 9:1-31. I really like this verse -Acts 9:22 -Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
With that being said, the first thing that came to my mind is an event that happens in most churches. Let me call it the Visiting Pastor/Speaker Introduction event. Is it just me that notices that most introductions consist of listing an educational and work resume which never or rarely mentions anything about their qualifications in Christ?
Word to the wise and unwise alike: When in the midst of church folk and possible converts it is best to keep your introduction short and to the truth like Paul. Whether the pastor/speaker realizes it or not, the ‘all about my world’ introduction puts all the glory on self; it takes away from his/her message. This is just something I’ve noticed going on in various churches. Don’t hate!
There are three things that the Holy Spirit spoke to me about in this study.Ya ready?
The first thing that I have learned on this journey is to present yourself to God first. Paul mentions this later in Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Knowing Paul’s/Saul’s history clearly shows that presenting yourself to God first both opens and closes many doors. Paul knew from his personal experience that he belonged to Jesus Christ. He knew that all of his accomplishments were not of his own doing, it was of the Lord. All glory should be given to our Creator and Savior. Amen.
The second thing I learned is twofold. We should serve with our “spirit in the gospel of His Son” and as God as our witness (vs 9) because “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) How do we do this?
In two ways- In the OT we are told in Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?” And in 2 Timothy 2:15-, we are instructed to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Who are you serving?
The third thing I learned is threefold. We are to be ready to preach the gospel. We are NOT to be ashamed of the gospel of Christ and we must have faith. (vs. 15-17) There is a reason that Paul tells us that the “just shall live by faith.” Ahem! It is the righteousness of God revealed. Would your introductory resume reveal these three things to others as your accomplishments in Christ?
Roadside Rest Stop: It is imperative to know who we are in Jesus Christ before sharing the Gospel with and/or preaching to others. Be qualified to speak with the authority given to us by Jesus Christ. Let our experiences with God and the knowledge we have of God, not men be presented to others. Sometimes we only get to journey on the road to Damascus once. Once was all it took for Saul/Paul. We are living testimonies that the Lord our God will stop us dead in our journeys to put us on the right road.
Therefore beloved as a present day messenger of Christ, know ye this, we are debtor to all, “both wise and unwise” so be ready. Always remember who are you in Christ on any journey and
“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.” Fitzhugh Mullan