As we reach the end of the book of Acts, chapter 28:30-31 provides a visual of a camera panning out on our protagonist, Apostle Paul. It shows us what he is doing during the last days of his life and gives us conclusions about who he has become and
what he continues to do.
From this, we can conclude that Paul lived a life of relentless commitment to the Gospel
and unwavering dedication to the mission of God. This is a beautiful climax in Paul’s life and ministry.
Now, let us contemplate: What if the camera were to pan out on us today? What would the audience see and conclude about our individual journeys? What kind of person have we become since we were born again? What is the mission of our lives?
Regardless of what we are doing in life, I believe that every Christian’s life should have similar conclusions as Paul’s. It may be on a different scale and in a different context, but aren’t we all called and commissioned to live a life of relentless commitment to the gospel and show unwavering dedication to the mission of God? The answer is yes.
Here are some scriptures to support my statement above.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV):
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God
prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Isaiah 43:7 (ESV):
“everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
1 Peter 2:9 (ESV):
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own
possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of
darkness into his marvelous light.”
Now, suppose we go to Apostle Paul and ask for advice on how to achieve such a climax in our lives. Here are seven pieces of advice he would give us. There could be more, but here are seven that come to my mind.
- Embrace and experience the transformative power of the Gospel in your lives.
There is a moment in our lives when we are justified by faith. However, there is also another aspect where we are sanctified by Him, being transformed into the image and likeness of His son, Jesus. Unless we are all truly experiencing the transformative work of the gospel in our lives, we will fail to reach such a climax in our lives.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV):
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away;
behold, the new has come.”
Galatians 2:20 (ESV):
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and
gave himself for me.”
Romans 1:16 (ESV):
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
- Learn to endure adversity, pain & suffering
Adversity, pain, and suffering are part of our sanctification process. Through these experiences, God draws us closer to Himself and helps us grow and mature in faith. Jesus never promised a life of comfort.
2 Corinthians 11:24-27 (ESV):
“Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from
robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and
John 16:33 (ESV):
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
3. Listen & teach sound doctrine
I believe Paul would put a very strong emphasis on sound doctrine, especially when it comes to the understanding of the gospel.
1 Timothy 1:3-4 (ESV):
“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.”
Galatians 1:8-9 (ESV):
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him
1 Timothy 4:6 (ESV):
“If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.”
4. Cultivate a non-judgmental and sacrificial love towards others
Love should be at the center of our life and ministry. Without expressing the love of Christ, everything else becomes a meaningless pursuit. We can only show true love if we have experienced that true love from Christ.
Philippians 2:17 (ESV):
“Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.”
Romans 5:8 (ESV):
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 Peter 4:8 (ESV):
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
- Focus on Christ’s power, not personal strength
The reality is that we cannot overcome the world and the challenges within it solely by our own strength. We need God’s power to guide and sustain us.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV):
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
- Cultivate a heart for fervent prayer life
As a Christian, prayer is crucial because it demonstrates our dependence on God when we pray and plead with Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV):
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Ephesians 6:18 (ESV):
“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”
Colossians 4:2 (ESV):
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
- Be ready to die for Jesus
Philippians 1:21 (ESV):
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
2 Timothy 4:6-7 (ESV):
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”