Saturday, March 28th, 2015
Paul's Powerful Priorities (Part 11)
And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.'
Mark 16:15 (NKJV)
How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!'
Romans 10:14-15 (NKJV)
The Apostle Paul preached in synagogues, streets, fields, churches, houses, boats, prisons and courtrooms. He preached to kings, priests, jailers, sinners, soldiers, tradesmen, farmers and philosophers. 'For necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel' (1 Corinthians 9:16).
Paul was a fearless preacher. He made his intentions clear from the get-go: 'I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for It is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes' (Romans 1:16).
Paul was an adaptable preacher: a Jew to the Jews, a scholar to the scholars, a servant to the servants, a slave to the slaves, a worker to the workers, a leader to the leaders and an outsider to the outsiders.
Paul was an equal opportunity preacher. He applauded women, foreigners and youths in his Letters. He respected no cultural, economic or political boundaries. He crossed every manmade line.
Paul was a plain-spoken preacher. As a speaker, he was neither entertaining nor polished. He 'Did not come with excellence of speech' or 'Persuasive words of human wisdom' (1 Corinthians 2:1,4).
Paul was a humble preacher. He described himself as 'Less than the least of the saints' (Ephesians 3:8). To avoid any show of wealth or suspicion of corruption, he supported himself as a tentmaker.
Paul was a discipling preacher. 'Let us return and visit the brethren in every city... and see how they are' (Acts 15:36). Rather than abandon new believers or keep them as babies, Paul fostered their growth in Christ.
Paul was a disciplined preacher. He avoided temptation: 'I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified' (1 Corinthians 9:27).
Paul was a relentless preacher. 'In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently' (2 Corinthians 11:23). No matter the opposition, no matter the difficulties, Paul continued his ministry.*
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Jesus is our Great High Priest, but on the achingly human side, Paul is an excellent example. Consider two things:
1) Compare your preacher to Paul. It's a fair test. 2) Compare yourself to Paul. It's a fairer test. According to God's Word, you've been called as cast, priests and preachers in this end time drama. Stay full of Good News.
To Be Continued...
* 'For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus' (Acts 21:13).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Paul's Powerful Priorities series.