Have you ever wonder what is it like to be thrown into the dungeon? Yes, how do you feel and what do you think your future will hold? This was exactly what it was like for the Apostle Paul. He was thrown into prison not because of any evil that he had done, but rather because he preached the gospel.
Have you been tried for your faith? Are you in a position where sharing Christ may cause you your life? How would you react if you were faced with such a situation like Paul?
Many of us are rich in our spiritual life. We have the Word, we go to church every Sunday, we fellowship among believers without any restriction, we go for Bible Study, and we are also involved in other areas of ministry in the church. Have you ever considered what all these freedom meant? How is your walk with the Lord as you have all the freedom to grow and develop your faith in Christ? Do you walk and suffer for Christ and go through trials and difficulties way beyond your situations and circumstances? Paul did. He said in 2 Cor 11:23-28 that he labored more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently and in deaths suffered often. He went on to say that five times he received 40 stripes minus one, three times he was beaten with rods; once he was stoned, three times he was shipwrecked, and a night and a day he was in the deep…and etc. We see here an example of Paul’s life, where he was willing to be transparent and go on suffering for Christ, all for the sake of the gospel.
How then do you see yourself now after seeing Paul in such a dilemma in his service for Christ? Do you yearn for Jesus and strive to make your Christian life count? Do you go to the extent where you are willing to sacrifice your own personal time and give your precious hours to those who are in need of help? Do you go through the extra mile to help others even if it meant inconveniences? Do you share the gospel the way Paul had done? Paul said in Rom 1:16 that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Do you see this as the motivation to share with others about Jesus? He continued to say, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel”. 1 Cor 9:16. The biggest example to follow Paul is to preach the gospel. This is the highest calling, to make Christ known and to glorify His name wherever we go. If you truly want to lead an active Christian life, then there is no better person to follow than Paul himself.
If we were to take a look at Paul’s life, we will do well to emulate him. He preached the gospel to the whole continent from Jerusalem to Illyricum in less than 11 years. Rom 15:19. He move from city to city planting churches from Ephesus to Philippi and to Thessalonica, round about to Corinth. We may not be like him, planting churches or even preach the gospel, but we can share Christ just at where we are, be it with our family, friends, colleagues or relatives. The key is, we want to be like Paul, passionate to share the gospel of Christ and leading a life that is completely pleasing to the Lord.
If we take time to grow in our Word life, pray and seek His face, we will do more than what we can expect ourselves to do. God will prompt us to share the gospel when the Holy Spirit is present and when the person is ready to receive Christ. We must always be ready and be on our guard, able to share the gospel when we are called forth to share our faith. 1 Pet 3:15. You can only make yourself ready if you have the Word to share with them and your life in Christ is perfected and rooted and grounded in Him.
Absolutely brilliant, Deline, and a timely message for the condition of the church generally today. You ought to be on the platform of every church in America, or wherever you live. The trials that Paul had are coming our way, and your article helps prepare us.
Deline, I agree that your article is very timely. It's also very well-written. Although I haven't been in a "dungeon" literally like the Apostle Paul, I've experienced many trials but I thank God for if not for those trials, I won't be able to fully see how weak I am, and how powerful God is. It's all by the grace of God, Amen! Blessings, Gloria