Before the Apostle Paul converted to Christianity, he was a zealous and a devoted Jew. The scripture says he was extremely devoted to following the Jewish customs. A Jew among Jews.
After his salvation, Paul was a zealous, devoted, and bold preacher of the gospel. He would reason in synagogues and many were converted to Christianity. But there were many who did not accept his message. He eventually expanded his message to the Gentiles. As a result of his faithful proclamation, he was often beaten, stoned, and left for dead, because he preached Jesus as the only way of salvation, but Paul didn’t give up. He keep working the “field” that was his to plow and cultivate.
The Lord gave Paul, and us, a particular mission, a particular purpose, a particular course to follow. Some have a more public ministry. Others have a more ‘behind the scene’ ministry. Both are important. Both are able to reach certain people. But we, as Christians, all have a purpose. We are all to testify of the work Jesus has done in our life and to be used by Him for His will.
As I was reading in Acts 20, this morning, verse 24 gave me pause. Paul was minimizing his life for a greater cause. The cause of proclaiming Christ.
24 But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24 NASB
I don’t see that very often in our society. I don’t see it in my life very much. What I do see is selfish, self-centered, “it’s all about me” people. There are some who live for a greater cause. I know there has to be. Perhaps, they are the ‘behind the scene’ Christians. Believers who may never get noticed on this earth, but standing before the Lord, He opens His treasure chest and rewards them greatly for their work.
My prayer would be, regardless of my circumstances, my joy and my happiness would be maximized in fulfilling my calling; working my “field’ and simply serving my Lord for the greater cause.
Paul also wrote these words in Galatians 2:20 “20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” NASB
Is that the key to living beyond ourselves?