With the semester coming to a close, I am constantly reminded to evaluate my performance in my ministries for the past semester. Through the recent weeks, I have been reminded time and again of how Paul does his ministry.
Paul, as we all know, was eager to preach the gospel in every way possible. We also know through our time in church, in Sunday school classes, or in our talk with other Christians that Paul’s eagerness was manifested by his missionary journeys.
Because of these stories, we tend to put Paul on a higher level than us. We could argue that he accomplished a lot of things for Christianity. Yes, he has done a great deal for the faith. What we seem to be forgetting, however, was that Paul was a human being like all of us. I like to emphasize this point because we can see all the more the power of God working in men like Paul. Paul was also a sinner before, and he was killing religiously. It was the power of God working in him that allowed him to do what he was able to do.
I particularly liked the human moment he showed when he was inflicted with the “thorn in the flesh.” Yes, it was a painful experience though we are not sure what it really alluded to. And yes, through this experience, Paul would write one of the most beautiful lines in the Bible: “‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” These powerful words echo the essence of our Christianity. The power of Christ and the wonder of His grace are perfected in weak creatures like us.
Another particular moment sums up nicely his passion for God and His ministry. Colossians 4:10 “My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings,” this simple phrase may not mean a lot, but the mere fact that a fellow prisoner was greeting the Colossian congregation meant that Paul was sharing about the Colossians. I could imagine the excitement and fervor as Paul shares about the churches he has planted, the people he ministered to, and the work God is doing among the nations.
My friends, this should be our attitude towards our ministry. It is not that we should gauge our success on our accomplishments. Success in ministry is based on how much we depended on God in every aspect of it. And this will lead to our hearts burning with passion as we share to the people about the gospel.