"Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, called as an apostle, set apart to preach God's good news" (Romans 1.1)
Last week I began preaching through the book of Romans. My first sermon included this verse. It isn't large but it is enormous in importance. Look at three things that Paul claims about himself:
1. He was a slave of Jesus Christ
2. He was an apostle
3. He was set apart to preach the gospel
In short, this was a man who was devoted. He wasn't wasting his life on activities God didn't appoint him to do. He knew who he was: a slave, an apostle, and a preacher, and he did just that. To him, Christianity wasn't something a person could dabble in at leisure; to him, Christianity demanded unconditional obedience and submission.
In his Explanatory Notes Wesley observed that Paul was, "Called to be an apostle - And made an apostle by that calling. While God calls, he makes what he calls."
Why are relatively few people remembered in history books? Considering the billions of people who have lived or are today alive, why do so few make a lasting impression on history? It's because so many of us live forgettable lives. So many of us just work for a paycheck and long for vacation. Very few of us are as devoted as Paul and very few of us have a page in history.
Look at history (from the famous to the infamous) and you'll find people devoted to some cause larger than themselves. Paul wisely knew that what really matters is an obedient devotion to God and his gospel. We will remember Paul of Tarsus until the end of time.
What has God called you to do?