Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Story, Chapter 30 - Paul's Final Days

I am often suspicious of highly motivated people, perhaps because I am much more of a laid-back kind of person. I think they call those energizer bunny types a Type A personality. I'm more a Type Z - when stressed, catch a few zzzzz's and deal with it when you wake up. Anyway, in Paul I see maybe one of the most highly motivated people I have ever read of. He's not just a Type A, he's A+!

Type A's kind of scare me. They must be selling something. They must have some ulterior motives. Behind all that activity must be some devious charlatan eager to deceive me.

In Chapter 29 of The Story I saw another side of Paul. I guess I saw the man that I had missed in all the activity. I often associated Paul with doctrine. I love doctrine. I studied doctrine and Paul was the master theologian. I have always been impressed with his spiritual mind. I also often associated Paul with his fast and furious missionary journeys. I marveled at his non-stop pace, his ability to plant churches, his eagerness to go wherever the Spirit led him. I have always been impressed with his spiritual strength!

This week I discovered another dimension of this Type A apostle. As I read of his fateful journey to Jerusalem and his subsequent voyage to Rome I discovered that at the core of his being was a man whose great mind and great strength was only surpassed by his great heart.

This was a man deeply in love with Jesus Christ. A man whose heart powered his harried pace. As I read some of his last recorded words to Timothy this immense passion emerged from the pages and it struck me that there was nothing suspect about this Type A personality. He was more genuine, more real than I will ever be. I was especially moved by a familiar verse, one that was the inspiration of a hymn I remember singing often growing up:

I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

Or in the KJV wording,

I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed unto Him against that Day.

I leave Chapter 29 with a new appreciation of Paul. On several occasions Paul would urge believers to "imitate me." I always thought that as somewhat arrogant. Just another pushy salesman! Now that I see his heart, I see it as good advice. He really seemed to "get it" and when one "gets it," they are never the same again!

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