Imagine the difference…

Romans 15:22

Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, but as it is written:

“To whom He was not announced, they shall see;

And those who have not heard shall understand.”

For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you.

Paul speaks of his ministry to the Gentiles as a grace given to him by God.  Grace is a noun defined as:  that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: and, favour, specifically bestowed upon one by God.  Can we get a grasp on that?  It is something given to us, powered by God, that brings joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm and loveliness.  How often do we view what we do ( for all we do is done to the glory of God) as a chore that carries with it descriptive words like work, toil, fatigue, drudgery?  Can we instead begin each day looking forward to what God has planned for us?  What can I do for you?  The question that we ask him upon rising, after saying; this is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.  Our whole demeanor is changed, different from that of the average individual.  Can we get a grasp on that?  What we do is a grace given us by God, to do for Him.

Paul followed the pattern set by Christ, moving from place to place spreading the message of God.  Imagine each believer leaving home in the morning with a smile on their face and a spring in their step because of the privilege they have been given to work for God!  Imagine the believers swarming the workplace with a different mind-set and purpose; that of spreading the message of God wherever they find themselves just through the body language alone.  The message would be written on each face, no words would be needed except as directed by the Lord and the response is seen as an offering to the Lord.  Paul calls those he reached with the gospel as his offering brought before Almighty God as an offering, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.  And in this mind-set, Paul is able to find no shame in speaking of what he has done by allowing the Holy Spirit to move through him – not a selfish boast. Can we see the difference?    His goal was to go to those who  were not told, tell those who had not heard.  They became an offering when they were told and they saw, they heard and they understood.  The Holy Spirit at work through Paul and now multiply that vision by each believer going to work with the same heart and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through them, touching people for Christ everywhere they go. There is no need to impose our personally held beliefs on another, there is a need to share the joy of working and living each day for the Lord.  Can we see the difference?  We work, play, shop around people who do not actively seek knowledge of God and we are the only message they will see.  Can we catch the importance of our effect upon our individual worlds?

Take away:  Glory in the work we are given to do for him.  See each job as a job he has assigned us.  Glory in the work he does through us.  Take joy in it, see it as an offering to him.  Follow Christ’s pattern.

“To whom He was not announced, they shall see;

And those who have not heard shall understand.”

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