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  • Writer's pictureJamie Holden

September 30

Our Response

When you think about legendary men of the Bible, one of the first guys you think of is the Apostle Paul. I mean, throughout the New Testament, this dude was THE MAN.

Traveling all over the known world sharing the Gospel, Paul was THE evangelist to the Gentiles. His four missions trips took over 10,000 miles.

He planted churches, discipled other ministers, and wrote 13 books of the Bible.

The book of Acts tells how some people experienced healing under his ministry while others were set free from demonic control. One thing is sure: Paul caused a stir wherever he went. However, this buzz was not always good. Because he preached that both Jews and Gentiles could receive God’s salvation, Paul often faced intense persecution. His life was constantly being threatened.

2 Corinthians 11:24-27 paints this picture, “Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;  on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;  in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” (ESV)

Eventually, Paul spent years in prison suffering for Christ. Yet, he continued walking in his God-given calling.

Why? How did he do it?

What kept him going, following Jesus, answering the call, fulfilling his God-given destiny? What made this man so legendary?

It was the fact that Paul never forgot who he was and where he came from. We see this over and over in his writings as he shares his testimony and calls himself “the chief of sinners.”

Paul knew the sins God had forgiven. He knew how he persecuted the church, the saints he put in prison, and the men and women who suffered because of him. He was overwhelmed that God forgave him. His gratitude made him love God so much that He followed God wholeheartedly every moment of his life.

“I’m so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry. The only credentials I brought to it were violence and witch hunts and arrogance. But I was treated mercifully because I didn’t know what I was doing—didn’t know Who I was doing it against! Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me. And all because of Jesus.

 Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off—evidence of his endless patience—to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever.” (1 Timothy 1:12-16, MSG)

This motivation is what made Paul a living legend. His gratitude for salvation caused him to allow God to make him into an entirely new person. It drove him to share the Gospel with others and to thank and praise God for all He had done.

Every man who wants to be a legendary man of God must have the same attitude that produces the same response.

Gratitude for what God has done for you and I is what drives a man of God to follow Paul’s example. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning and causes us to live for Jesus every day. For the man of God, our passion should revolve around our salvation experience. It should burn within the core of our being.

We need to know that we are all just sinners saved by grace.

Our lives should center around gratitude for the fact that while we were still living in our sin, Christ came to earth, lived a sinless life, and died to take the penalty for our sin. (Romans 5:8)

Because we are so thankful for our salvation, we happily allow the Holy Spirit to do the work of sanctification in our lives. (Colossians 3:1-10)

Overwhelmed with gratitude for all God has given us, we are motivated to share the Gospel with everyone around us. (Mark 16:15-16)

Like Paul, our gratefulness for all that God has done should lead us to worship God. (1 Timothy 1:17)

Sanctification, worship, and sharing the Gospel of Christ are the responses that make a man of God great. Actually, they make him legendary.

Memory Verse: The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. (1 Timothy 1:15, ESV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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