Tuesday, November 27, 2018

But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. Philippians 2:17

A selfless life. Paul understood what his life was about. He was declaring the truth of Jesus Christ no matter what. It was part of who God made him. He was an all or nothing kind of guy.

We see this before his spiritual transformation. He was determined to find those who had left the faith of Juduism,  and put them in jail for treason. He would not relent from punishing christians. He was a Rabbi, who knew the law, and would not tolerate anything else in place of God.

This is why Jesus pursued Paul.  He had the tenisity and will power to do for God what others might not. Paul saw in Jesus Christ the fulfillment of every law and need of humankind. Of course he needed a great awakening first, by way of a horse and blindness, but he got the message.

I believe Paul felt he was serving God by condemning christians. His intentions were to honor God, but he was a bit misplaced. His devotion and love for the Savior were genuine, and complete once he saw Jesus. I guess I can be the same way at times; turned around and without focus on what God truly desires.

I don't do this on purpose. It happens when I'm not careful. God pulls me in to himself, and holds me close when I realize I may have moved from where I truly want to be. I  never want to waiver from being close but it can happen so quickly. Of course, He hasn't moved, it was me.

  Paul must have felt shame after he realized he had been attacking the very people God was trying to establish! What would that have been like for him, I don't know. Did he live with feelings of guilt for a while? Time heals all wounds, it is said. I do know he was forgiven and loved by God so it wasn't an issue. 

Here in verse 17, we see Paul is ready to die for his fellow saints in the Lord. They are his family not his enemy. Transformation done God's way is eternal. I  think Paul would be grateful to God for stopping him from self destructon, as all of us are when we realize where our own efforts would get us.

Thank God today for loving you even before you walked in His ways. What a truly awesome, loving, compassionate God He is!  

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