Wisdom for fruitful service (2)
“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law.” Apostle Paul was a passionate servant of God. He was willing to suffer persecution, attract and identify with the Jews for the salvation of their souls. He had a burning desire for their salvation.
Two, he had an unquenchable zeal. He was burdened and saddened about their spiritual state. Three, he had a baptism of fervent love. Not only was he baptised in the Holy Ghost, he was also baptised, immersed in fervent love because he wanted the people to be saved.
Four, he had a steady supply of inner strength. He went everywhere to bring the word of salvation to them. Five, he had an unbreakable will. Although they tried to persecute him and break his will, he kept on moving from place to place preaching the gospel.
Six, he had a conquering spirit over self and mastery of self. Seven, he had a consuming passion for the salvation of fellow Jews. If we have such desire and passion for our own countrymen, we will preach the gospel to them and win them to Christ. Unfortunately, many so-called Christians’ zeal is for monetary/personal gains, promotions and worldly recognition that will perish with time.
People who are obsessed with the things of this world will soon become lukewarm and cannot win souls for Jesus Christ. As believers, we must recognise the controlling desire and drive in our lives.
Paul suffered for the right things and has gone to heaven to enjoy his reward. We must understand that persecution is inevitable as believers. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” If we are afraid of persecution, then we cannot achieve the goal of soul-winning.
Irrespective of the threat from the enemy, we should know that we are not alone; God is always with us as we commit ourselves to His work. Just as He stood with Paul, He will stand with and strengthen us so “that by (us) the preaching (of the gospel) might be fully known.” He has also promised to preserve us until we fulfil all His purposes and plans on earth. “And the Lord shall deliver (us) from every evil work, and will preserve (us) unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen!”
“To them that are without law, as without law (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ), that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might, by all means, save some.” Apostle Paul was always concerned about winning souls.
He identified with the Jews to bring them to the Lord. After his conversion, he lived all his life for Christ and the salvation of the Gentiles. He sacrificed and laid down all – his past reputation (knowledge, studies and treasures), present recognition (education, intelligence and talent), and future reserves – on the feet of the Lord Jesus, so he could reach sinners with the saving gospel.
He laboured tirelessly for the salvation of sinners, paid the utmost price, gave up his greatest pride, sacrificed his highest privileges, and endured the fiercest persecution. Although they stoned and left him for dead, he always rose again and preached the gospel. He demonstrated the loftiest perseverance and evangelised with the steadiest persistence. He was always on the move for the work of the kingdom.
Believers must make use of the energy, power, intelligence and health they have now that they are still active. Paul the apostle left for us the purest pattern in service, sacrifice, selflessness, steadfastness, single-mindedness, sanctification, spirituality, servanthood and soul-winning.
He was never found wanting in any area of life. Thus, we are called to learn from him and follow his example. “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
As you persevere in soul winning, despite difficulties or persecution, God will “bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will continually be with you. Amen!”
• Further reading (King James Version): 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Proverbs 11:30; Matthew 10:16; Luke 21:15; 1 Corinthians 1:21, 30; 2:6-8; 3:10; 2 Timothy 3:15. 1 Corinthians 9:20; Romans 9:1-3; 10:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:12; 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 9:21-23; 11:1; 4:16; Philippians 3:17; 4:9; Romans 16:20.