Saul of Tarsus, later the apostle Paul, came from a good Jewish home and was very devout. He also was a member of the Sanhedrin, which was somewhat like the Jewish Supreme Court of the day. And he was a former student of the legendary rabbi Gamaliel. He had everything going his way.
So you would think that when he came to believe in Jesus that God would call him to bring the gospel to his fellow Jews. Instead, the Lord changed his name from Saul to Paul and gave him his primary mission of taking the gospel to the Gentiles.
God took Paul out of his comfort zone, calling him to go to people that he probably didn’t want to go to. Yet Paul embraced his mission with abandon and great passion. And his greatest joy was that people believed.
Writing to the Christians in Rome, he said, “Yet I dare not boast about anything except what Christ has done through me, bringing the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I worked among them” (Romans 15:18 NLT).
Paul easily could have boasted about a lot of things, saying, “Hey, I’m Paul, the greatest theologian in all of history.” Or, “I’ve been to Heaven and have come back to earth. I was caught up into the third Heaven and saw glorious things.” While these things are true, Paul never said anything to that effect.
Instead, the apostle boasted in the fact that God had allowed him to share the gospel and lead people to Jesus Christ. And he saw them completely changed by Jesus.
Paul understood that his calling was to tell people about Jesus, to seek to lead them to Christ, and to get them on their feet spiritually. And by the way, that is our calling as well.
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