Paul’s example shows how Christ will take us back to the basics in the coming difficult days.

If you missed Part 1 click here.


Our Calling

Let’s pick up where we left off last week by focusing on our calling in these challenging days. Serving God on our own terms is always easier than complying with the specifics of a calling from God. We can pick and choose what we will do and where we shall go, feeling good that we have done our part for the kingdom. With a calling, we join God in His work. On our own, we dream up things to do for God and ask Him to bless our efforts (which He won’t). Once we are aware of our calling, we can’t escape the details of what is required. Common sense or sentiment will no longer cut it.

Let’s return to the verse we started with last week: But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish the race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24). What do we consider as dear to us? Without the same commitment and calling Paul had, we will count as dear our service, our time spent with God, and, of course, our own life. Everything we do will be judged by how it impacts our life. This is life in the big city—the American dream.

Paul’s Calling

Paul, however, counted his life dear only to the degree that it enabled him to fulfill his calling. Everything that hindered his mission had to go, regardless of how much pleasure it brought him. The purpose of this little mini-series to take us from our practical mindset into the single-minded purpose of Paul. We reveal our practical approach when we ask God to use us. Think of all the “Use Me” prayers you have uttered. We just want to be put to work on a “project” (that suits us)—one we think God has created us for.


Jesus never considered how useful He was to His Father. His only concern was complete and immediate obedience. This is what brought Him super-abundant joy. This was Paul’s attitude too. The idea of him being useful to Christ would have seemed strange indeed. His focus was on obedience to his calling to take the gospel to the Gentiles, whatever the cost. For him, no cost was too high because he no longer considered his comfort as dear.

Back to the Basics

This is where Christ is taking His Church—from its selfish, practical, comfort-ensuring service projects to the simplicity of a calling to finally be the salt and light we were created to be. Christ will build His Church by taking it back to the basics of fervently loving one another, and by removing all the trappings we have enjoyed which have become hindrances to our mission to bring the gospel to those around us. To best cooperate with Christ in His building project, we must not miss the point of it all. In the end, our Lord doesn’t want to make us more useful to Him. He wants to make us His. Only then will we truly fulfill our calling.



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