Have you ever been at a dinner party where one guest dominates the conversation and always manages to steer it back to their pet topic? Well I’m not sure I would have enjoyed the Apostle Paul’s company at a dinner party. I’ve been getting ready for a class I’m teaching on Romans and the man seems a bit obsessed with his mission to the Gentiles. I figure that he was so passionate and sold out to sharing the gospel with the Gentiles that he would steer any conversation in that direction. But the more I look at him the more I’m a bit jealous – Paul was so sure and dedicated to his calling – he was personally appointed by Jesus to go to the Gentiles and tell them about Jesus:
Acts 26:15-18 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “”I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 “Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
In the beginning of the letter to the Romans Paul introduces himself clearly as one set apart for the sake of the Gospel:
Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God
When I look at my life and the business of it I wonder if I am fulfilling what God has called me to do or am I juggling so many things that little gets done. Unlike most of us Paul got specific instructions from Jesus, he didn’t have to struggle to work out his call. But while I know that God has a general will and instruction that he expects from all believers I do believe he has gifted and equipped us each for specific ministries – I believe mine is in discipleship. So my prayer today, and as I work through Romans with the students, is that I would be open to God’s call and really become passionate about the task he has called me to.
There has been a song going round my head today that sums this up:
Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after You
I pray that my life’s passion and obsession would be follow God’s call on my life.