Tag Archives: Apostle Paul

Not Worthy, But Chosen

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.
2 Corinthians 1:1, NLT*

Paul was “chosen by the will of God to be an apostle…”

But he also wrote: “I am the least of all the apostles … not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.” (1 Corinthians 15:9, NLT*)

Don’t you think the enemy of our souls tried to use Paul’s past to sabotage his future?

The same with the unnamed weakness that Paul called his “thorn in the flesh” – in fact, he called it “a messenger from Satan.” (2 Corinthians 12:7, NLT*)

Imagine if he’d listened to these taunts about his unworthiness and his weakness. If he’d accepted them and quit the ministry.

I think today’s verse shows us the secret of his victory.

He knew it wasn’t about him – his worth or lack of it, his weakness or strength. It was about God. The God who saw Paul’s offenses, who allowed the weakness. The God who loved him and chose to save him and to call him as an apostle of Christ.

What about us? Paul wasn’t an exception. We’re all unworthy in one way or another. We all have weaknesses. What might God want to do through us?

Father God, You know each heart. You know our unworthiness and our weakness. you know we can’t change on our own. Yet You love us. You saved us and You’re saving us still. Forgive us for the ways we’ve allowed our limitations to disqualify us from what You’ve set before us. Help us find our strength in the fact that it’s You who call us. Teach us to reject what would hold us back, and to follow You.

Brian Doerksen’s song, “Welcome to the Place of Level Ground,” reminds us we’re all the same before the Lord.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Faith, Patience, Love and Endurance

But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.
2 Timothy 3:10, NLT*

I don’t know about you, but when I think of the Apostle Paul, patience and love aren’t top of my list of descriptions. I mean no disrespect to this ambassador for Christ—he’s a hero of the faith. But he sounds like he was a hard fellow to live and work with.

Faith? His was more than intellectual belief. He lived it, and died for it.

Endurance? He suffered frequent persecution and abuse for his faith. One of my favourite Paul stories is when he and Silas were in prison in Philippi, singing praises to God in the middle of the night. [Acts 16:16-40]

Paul definitely knew “the secret of living [and being content] in every situation.

Perhaps this is where his patience appeared: in endurance and in persisting in relying on God. And his love wasn’t the soft, huggy kind, but his letters reveal a passionate commitment to the well-being and growth of Christians everywhere. He thanks God for them, he prays for them, and he fights for them.

Sovereign God, You were with Paul and You are with us today. Let us learn from Paul’s example. Help us to remember and rely on Your presence and power. Lord, we believe. Help our unbelief in those times when we don’t anchor to You. Help us choose to praise You no matter what, and to keep our eyes on You instead of on the problems.

Let Matt Redman‘s “Blessed Be Your Name” remind us how to live.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.