A Heart Like Paul’s
By Pastor Doug Cox
Studying the Apostle Paul’s teachings give us an in depth look at his heart. His bluntness about rejecting any other gospel (or religion) makes him seem harsh and hard. I’m sure he hurt a lot of feelings as he went from place to place ministering the gospel. But not only did he hurt some feelings he flared some tempers, thus, the reason he was beaten with rods, whipped, stoned and left for dead and the like and not just once, but many times.
Paul’s life was living proof that the preaching of the cross is offensive to many who hear it. (See Gal 5:11) Thankfully Paul didn’t let the rejection of the message of the cross and the pain it caused him to stop him from preaching and writing about the good news it offers.Now the reason Paul refused to give false doctrines and false beliefs any kind of leeway is simply because they don’t work. In other words, they cannot make a person right with God. In fact, a good chunk of his teaching in the book of Romans is about how the law and good works can’t save you. That’s an offensive message to those who have been working hard doing things and following the rules of their religion to be saved. (Believe me, I know about that.) So, despite of how it seemed, Paul wasn’t a confrontive religious zealot who had to prove himself right. No, his desire was for people to get saved. His heart was very tender towards people especially his own. In fact he wished he could trade his life and destination for theirs. He said “for I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh.” (Romans 9:3) As we think about others, will you pray with me that we can all have a heart more like Paul’s? A heart that desires for people to be saved. A heart that is not just satisfied to know the Lord personally, but longs for others to know as well. As we enter this Christmas season let’s share the message, but not just the birth of Jesus but the cross He suffered on. And thankfully His Resurrection. One more thing too please. Pray for people to believe.
Don’t forget December 9 at 7pm Crossroads is hosting “A NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM”. We will have various booths, a bakery, a pottery shed, a carpenter shop, a stable and more. Learn about how life was back then and specifically about the birth of you know who, Jesus Christ the Lord. We hope to see you there and bring some friends.