In this ministry we often talk about following Paul’s model because he was so effective, and we want ourselves and those we train to be as effective in spreading the gospel. When we think of what the Church has done over hundreds of years compared to the ten or eleven years of Paul’s ministry, something is missing today.
We have all sorts of conveniences, phones and computers for communication, airplanes and cars for easy travel. Paul had none of these, yet in those ten plus years traveled by foot and boat over 8,000 miles during three missionary trips, plus his final trip to Rome. During that short time, he continually preached the gospel and made disciples. He made sure they were well established in the faith, planted churches and then revisited them to be certain they were standing firm in the Lord.
The churches he established were in four provinces: Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia Minor, with the final church plant in Rome, Italy. Read below of how he speaks of his own work:
“For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:18–19).
Of all the work God gave Paul, it was “fulfilled.” It is my deep desire to say the same thing at the end of my life. Will you?
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