November 13, 2020
How would you summarize your life in a sentence? How would God summarize it? One day it will happen to each of us. For the apostle Paul, his summary is found in the last verse of the book of Acts.
And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered. (Acts 28:30-31)
WELCOMING ... all who came to him.
Of all the apostles, Paul is the man God used to open the door to the Gentiles (which is us!) There was no one on earth that was seen as "lesser" by Paul. Everyone was a fearfully and wonderfully made creation and was worthy of his time and ministry. People were not objects to him, but those that God loved, and Paul loved. He welcomed them all.
PREACHING ... the kingdom of God.
Like his Master, Paul was a proclaimer of good news. Everywhere he was he told people of the new kingdom. The kingdom that was different from this world—the kingdom of God. Paul was the one who showed us that we can be seated with God in Christ in the heavenlies and that we can live in two worlds as believers (see Colossians 3:1-4). Through a relationship with Christ, we could enter the Kingdom of God.
TEACHING ... concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.
This was the point of all of life for Paul. He lived to lead people to Jesus. Jesus is the One who is to have preeminence in everything and from whom everything flows and is held together (Colossians 2). Paul did not proclaim himself, but Christ (2 Corinthians 2). His whole ministry was exalting Jesus, for it was Jesus that all people needed.
And when he came to the finale of his earthly life, his story was finalized with these words:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Corinthians 4:7-8)
What greater summary could there be?
Lord...give me a portion of that kind of summary for my life! Let me know my purpose clearly and run my race fully.
March 29, 2023
As a pastor for the last 55 years, I have had the joy of being encouraged and blessed and prayed for by so many people. It is what carries you in your task of shepherding people. As I look back over five decades of ministry, their love has dramatically enriched my life.
But also, a pastor leads. And when anyone leads, there are almost always some who disagree.
March 28, 2023
March 27, 2023