The Apostle Paul has often been impugned for his hard-headed stance in pushing the Gospel at any cost. Acts chapter 17 informs us that Paul in his down time could generally be found at the Synagogue, arguing why Jesus was the Messiah. He just couldn’t let things go. He was a bit of a bulldog.
And yet, I find myself most often visiting the pages of Paul’s thirteen letters to the various churches at their incipient stage. Why? Not for inspiration. If I want inspiration, I go to the Psalms.
When I go to Paul’s letters, I get action, purpose, and resolve. Paul is pretty much the king of resolve. He could single handedly head up the why’s and wherefore’s of any fundraising initiative, missionary drive, or anything else that comes to mind. They say in doing anything, you have to find your WHY. Paul found his in Christ, and the imprint Jesus made on his life. It made him forget everything else as a pale substitute. As a Christian many generations down the road, reading his observations, remarks and encouragements is inspiring. His “WHY” bolsters my own.
If you don’t know WHY you should pursue a particular course, you won’t likely get there. We are not just passing time here. Things either get done or are left undone, and if they are to be done, someone must do them. If the Gospel is to persist in a perverse world, someone must carry the torch. Someone must see what is worthy, and fight for it. There’s no passive stance here - to do nothing is to walk backward and pretend it’s progress.
My recent heart attack and bypass surgery gave me a close-up and personal view of what it means for your life to come to a full stop. There can be a lot of non sequiturs. Things started but never completed, things abandoned by the wayside while distracted. It’s good to get things lined up and in focus. God forbid that when I cash in the chips for real at some future date, my list of what is undone looks the same.
Hence, when I wake up in an uncertain and turbulent world, I lay all those things aside and hone in on the things I know I can accomplish within my own footprint. Here is my go-to list for resolve and purpose in the morning. For this list, I thank the Apostle Paul. I hope to thank him personally one day, to give him that punch in the arm and tell him, “Brother, your words gave me a bit of push!” Here in no particular order, are some of Paul’s wherefore’s and why’s.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galations 2:20
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:12
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4
From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Galatians 6:17
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 38-39
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
When you pass from death back into life again, you come back with a renewed purpose. This is mine. Thanks Mr. Resolve for putting the wind on my back.