Romans 15: 14-33
Saturday, 17 December 2022
“Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God.” - Romans 15: 17
In today’s reading Paul reminds us through his personal testimony that the only person who deserves all the glory for his accomplishment is Jesus Christ.
In a world where men and women who serve God adorn a celebrity status, who have a great number of followers across the globe, the early leaders in the Christian World had to face a great deal of suffering and persecution for their faith. How were they able to still give God all the glory in spite of all the oppositions they faced in their ministry? How did Paul, who suffered much for the gospel, keep his focus right that he was able to hold his ministry till the end?
1. He constantly remembered Christ’s work in him-  Paul understood that it was the grace of God that set him apart for the ministry. Jesus in John 15:16 says ‘You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit-fruit that will last.’ Paul though did not hear this from Jesus, he did have a very personal and specific calling from Him in spite of all he had done against God and His people. On the road to Damascus ,he received unmerited favour, love and forgiveness. Even though he had much to boast about, he realised that it was Grace that chose him not his works, Grace that kept him in the faith not his birth. You and I may have much to boast about our Christian heritage. Is this what keeps us in the ministry? Or are we in awe of this God who extended His Grace toward us that has enabled us to serve HIM? Even as we stand on the threshold of a new year may we take time to remember the work of Christ in our lives so our ministry would be an extension of what we have received from Christ.
2. He realized the work of Christ in his words and deeds -[vs18 & 19]- Coming from a lineage that he had much to boast about with of all his training and in-depth knowledge of the Law he received from imminent Jewish scholars, after his encounter with Christ ,Paul considered all his credentials as rubbish(Phil. 3:6). He goes on to say in Galatians 1:11 that the gospel he preached was not taught to him by any man or was it made up by man, but he learnt it by revelation from Jesus Christ. He now spoke only the words that God had revealed to him. Even today God is not looking for eloquent men to share the simple truth of the gospel. As Paul declares in 1Cor 2:4 that he did not speak to the Corinthians with eloquence and human wisdom, not with persuasive words but with the demonstration of the Spirits power. Paul taught others what the Holy Spirit taught him.
In our ministry as we continue to serve Him or are we completely relying on the Holy Spirit to do His work through us? Are we spending enough time with God to hear from Him so as to be His voice in this dark world? Or are we depending on our literary and oratory skills to prove our point?
May we take a check on how we have been working in the ministry God has given us. Even as we look forward to the new year, may we have a fresh encounter with God so that like Paul we would Glory in Christ as we see the ministry entrusted to us progress.
Quote for the day: “Our voices, our service and our abilities are to be employed primarily for the glory of God.” ~Billy Graham
Listen - 'Let not the wise man '