One of the key principles that made Paul so successful was that he had very clear values and was not afraid to articulate them to others, both in word and in his letters. He never deviated from those values. Here are a few that stand out:
“I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself.” In this statement there is no trace of self-centeredness or selfish ambition. Take for example Paul’s words in Philippians 1:21; “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” He places all his value in Christ as his life, and if death came his way, which it nearly did on several occasions, it would be victory.
“If only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Paul received a very clear mandate to preach the gospel to the gentiles and he was determined to be faithful to that call. He knew the call had come from “the Lord Jesus” and what he must do with the call; “to testify to the gospel of the grace of God”. In a sense, your call and mine is no different according to Matthew 28:19-20. In addition to being faithful to the call, Paul was bent on finishing this “course and the ministry that I received”. The American dream is to retire wealthy and end your years having a good time. I can’t find a chapter and verse for such an idea. This does not put treasure in heaven. Paul pressed forward to receive a reward from “the Lord, the righteous judge” (2 Timothy 4:8).
Will you run the race and finish with Christ and His calling as your ultimate value? Let Paul be your model!
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