Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Paul - why so serious?

To me, Paul (the apostle), seems so...serious.  And I don't mean that to sound as if it's a bad thing, so much as its just something I've observed as I've been reading through Acts recently.  I have a feeling most of the disciples were actually this way - not all the time, I'm sure, but in general.

When I ask myself why that is, I'm faced with a hard truth.  I believe the main reason is because they understood the gravity of the gospel.  They saw and experienced its miraculous, transforming power and felt an urgency that most of us can't even grasp.

We are so caught up in "us".  Faced with the idea that the gospel means more than "our next thing" doesn't shake us.  I sometimes think it doesn't even touch us.  Paul was ready to die "for the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 21:13) and nothing - not his closest friends or co-workers in Christ - could convince him to choose himself first.  And they definitely tried (Acts 21:4,11).

How different that is from us.

What price have we (or have I) paid for the gospel in our lives?  What hard decisions have we let ourselves get out of by the convincing statements of our family or friends?  Have we allowed ourselves to slip into complacency with regards to the truth?

I hope not.

I don't want to be that person!  I want to understand that there is nothing more precious, nothing more valid, and nothing more relevant than the gospel and what that means to our world.  I want everything in my life to be ordered in such a way that it all reflects and revolves around Jesus.  I guess, in a word, I want to be totally surrendered to Him.

I'll leave you with a few lines from a wonderful hymn...

All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.