3rd Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture: Galatians 1:11-24
It was Paul’s contention that the Gospel he preached to men was not a story or secondhand tale. It had come to him directly from the Lord. That was a big claim to make, and proof is always demanded from some physical source. Yet Paul had the courage to point only to himself, noting that his radical change of life was given unto him by the Lord. It is here that Paul humbles himself, seeking no glory for himself. Glory goes to the Lord for turning his life completely around.
When someone is proceeding headlong in one direction and turns suddenly headlong in the opposite direction, all their values of life are turned upside down. There must be some explanation for such a change.
Paul’s explanation was that God had led him with His hands upon his shoulder, resting him and pointing him in a new direction. One should not be ashamed to tell the world about their radical change in life. Paul has two things to say about this life change.
1. It was not premeditated. The change in his life was in God’s plan for his life. J. Gossip tells how Alexander Whyle came to his ordination in his first appointment. God had been preparing him and the church to faithfully serve Him, sharing in God’s earthly kingdom.
God is preparing me but this congregation I serve for special works in God’s earthly kingdom that I could never dream of. Long ago, God set in place the factions that would put us as pastor and congregation together. This was long before either of us envisioned being involved in His ministry.
Look at Paul preparing himself for service. First he went to Arabia for 3 years to be alone with the Lord, and here God equipped him for his life. Finally Paul goes to Damascus for a second time. Can we imagine what transpired in his heart as he relived his conversion and invitation to full time Christian service?
It was some time later that Paul returned to Jerusalem, knowing that he was taking his life in his own hands. His former Roman friends were out for his blood. They saw him as a turncoat and a renegade.
I see many of Paul’s happenings in my journey to become a pastor. While the Christian ministry is a great blessing anyone can encounter, it is not without trials, temptations, and pitfalls.
2.) Where one is being led by the Lord, He offers comfort, wisdom, and whole host of blessings.
He only asks when one is up against the army of the devil and his band that we hold on to our faith, for that moment will pass and the light of a new day for the Lord will shine brightly again. Let us pray!