I wrote yesterday about the apostle Paul’s earnest heart, and I later thought that I might add a better description. There’s nothing I’d change or omit about the first comment.
My grandfather’s name was Earnest (no, not Ernest) and so I am fond of the word – and it fits here. Paul was so alive with this urgency to save everyone around him that he used no guile, no subterfuge.
Paul’s heart was also that of a father. Maybe not today’s father who’s afraid to be anything but his child’s best friend, but the long-thinking father who said what mattered most instead of using placation or bribery.
His torment in life was that the news of Jesus’ death & resurrection would not get to the four corners of Earth, and he was desperate to extend the reach of the gospel message. He broke himself, went hungry, endured imprisonment – all to advance a ministry beyond what any run of the mill zealot would accept.
He was “Just Do It” long before most people even had shoes!
I’ve wept when reading Paul’s letters. I’ve tried to place myself, as Paul at a desk, furiously scribbling messages to lead this ministry.
Imagine his options. Brilliant and persuasive man who could’ve settled down anywhere to build a congregation in relative safety.
But he couldn’t.
He was not looking to save 100 lives. He wanted thousands, tens of thousands! He served no less than a perfect God and the joy of knowing that Jesus’ intercession had made it possible for us all to reach Heaven and be with that God for eternity could not be contained.
I’m sure Paul was frequently exhausted. We know that he was beaten, malnourished, jailed and ridiculed. Yet those were just bumps in a long, important road.
He was going to meet God and didn’t want anyone left behind.
He took a hardline in most of his epistles, but he did it with encouragement and an infectious optimism that makes them precious to read. I hope you’ll dive into them soon if they’ve not been on your reading schedule for a while.
Is There a Message For Now?
I think my post from yesterday said it best. So many salvations are at stake today.
We can’t honor a God without spreading the gospel. We’ve been given a love so deep and a gift so precious that, to occupy ourselves too long on trivial matters is great loss.
Gather your simple tools – a bible, maybe an extra one in tow for divine appointments. Move out and make great things happen before it’s too late!