Why should someone called into service by Christ himself have to defend what He is doing? Paul’s ministry started dramatically different than the other apostles. Paul believed that he was serving God when he persecuted Christians. Like many Jewish leaders, Paul believed that Jesus was a fraud and those who followed Him violated God’s law and should be stopped.
Then, on the road to Damascus, Jesus called Paul out. When Paul met Jesus, he was broken and immediately repented. Then God took on Paul’s training and preparation. Paul did not even meet with the other Apostles for 3 years after His conversion. God always intended for Paul to minister to the Gentiles. He specifically trained Paul for that mission.
It was only after preaching the Gospel for three years that Paul met up with Peter and James, the brother of Jesus. During those years Paul was leading folks to Christ in Arabia and in Damascus. When He met and spent days with Peter and James, He was blessed and went out to Syria and Cilicia. Paul was no fraud.
Paul was saved by grace, trained by God, and carefully prepared for his mission. He had no reason or need to defend his ministry nor defend his life. Paul was trained and used by the Lord, and he was perfectly situated to do the mission that God set before him.
In our lives, we are also prepared for our mission by the Lord. He takes us as we are. Our life struggles and failures are a part of the building blocks that He uses to build us into the people He calls us to be. Like Paul, we can never regret the path God uses to train us. That path uniquely equips us to minister to those God puts in our lives.
The great commission that Jesus gave the Apostles in Matthew 28 tells us that as we are going, we are to make disciples. We are to baptize them and we are to teach them all God has taught us. Like Paul, God teaches each of us by different means and circumstances. We should take joy in the fact that God uses all the parts of our journey to make and train disciples. We need not defend our pasts, nor should we allow our sins and failures to define and minimize our ministries. Like Paul, we must take the Gospel and the Holy Spirit’s power and seek to share the Lord with everyone He puts in our path, wherever that path may lead.
God Bless You
11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my [h]countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. 15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with [i]flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.
18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to [j]become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except [k]James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now in what I am writing to you, [l]I assure you before God that I am not lying.) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was still unknown by [m]sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; 23 but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they were glorifying God [n]because of me.