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Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Apostle Paul's Life Mission

For a while I have thinking about Paul the Apostle. I don't want to talk about how he came to be a follower of Jesus. You can read it here. It is an amazing story. Humanly, he could not do this on his own. He was a religious fanatic bound by Jewish tradition. When he experienced his

transformation he became a Jesus follower. In fact, Jesus appeared to him. You can dismiss this as craziness or an impossibility but you would have to present your own diagnosis. You will have to read all of his writings to make a determination. I am of the belief that his experience was genuine and I accept his testimony. What really has impressed me lately is his

singular focus and life mission. He was a man who had success being religious, if we apply the normal rules of "success". But everything changed after the Damascus experience. His focus was preaching the message of repentance through Jesus. He had no other ambition. He

travelled from place to place teaching The Way of Jesus. Those that believed the message like he had became the nucleus of the churches established in Asia Minor. He experienced many trials like hunger,beatings, threats, shipwrecks, dangers, incarcerations and eventually

it cost him his life. Tradition says he was beheaded under the Roman Emperor Nero. Here is what Paul's mission was: "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the Gospel

of God's grace." His mission and focus was clear. In spite of the fact that what awaited him in the future was incarcerations and affliction, Paul was determined in his life mission. Nothing else mattered to him, not even his life (Acts 20:24).

Elsewhere Paul also said, "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:7-8).

This has made me think about what I value, what my focus in life should be. I have to say that I have not arrived at this. I have many distractions that take my time, some are necessary, some are not. But as I have aged my focus continues to sharpen. I hope and pray to

arrive at it like the Apostle Paul.

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