Twice Paul makes a statement about himself that we should carefully ponder.
“For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Corinthians 15:9).
“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8).
If we consider this man’s calling to preach the gospel and to plant churches from Antioch to Rome, write thirteen letters that were placed in the Scriptures for our instruction, plus travel 17,760 kilometer or 11,081 miles in just over 10 years, his life is very impressive. In the face of all he accomplished, Paul takes a very humble position regarding himself.
Paul even accepts “a thorn…in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Are we willing to take that same path so that our preaching and ministry would become more effective, more fruitful, and more God glorifying?
Charles R. Swindoll says, “Rather than racing into the limelight, we need to accept our role in the shadows. Don’t promote yourself. Don’t push yourself to the front. Don’t drop hints. Let God do that.” (Paul – A Man of Grace and Grit, Thomas Nelson, 2002, page 74).
Each of us must take this matter seriously. I leave you with the admonition of Peter; “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:5–6).
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