Sunday, December 9, 2012

What's Up Next...

So I made it through the book of Job...

I thought I would take up the book of Galatians next. This is the book that changed my thinking about what it means to be a Christian at a time when God had just begun to steer me in a direction that I did not want to go. Changing me from a church-goer to a follower of Jesus. A road that I still travel...
 
Galatians 1:1-2


Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the brothers who are with me,

Paul is the author of this letter, and he begins by stating his authority as the author. He was an apostle. This authority was recognized by the other apostles, who had taken the other route to their office. Those were the ones who had been with Christ throughout his earthly ministry. Paul was different, he was dramatically called out of a life as a persecutor of the church. 

Paul was set apart by God to be an apostle. What does that mean? Does it mean he did not have a say in the matter? So say that of course he did, and that if Paul had not chosen to follow Christ, God would have raised someone else to do the job. But I struggle with that, because there was only one Paul. Only one who was on the fast track to Jewish leadership, with an eye on perhaps being High Priest. Only one who was a Pharisee among Pharisees. How could God raise up someone with those credentials, when all along he had chosen Paul for this job? 

Being chosen by God, those are some great credentials. I don't think I can argue with them, knowing what I know about Paul's life. Knowing what he gave up, knowing how he lived, what he endured, and how he endured it. Seeing his contentment, a contentment that was not based on circumstance, but on a relationship and love for God. Seeing a man who had undergone a change in his belief system not unlike, at least in some ways, the change I was to go through. Yeah, this is a book that I might want to pay close attention too.

2 comments:

Kansas Bob said...

Not sure that words like apostle or pastor are all that important. Responding to the inner work of the Holy Spirit causes us to grow into whatever God has called us to be. Our journey is an inner one regardless of how it is manifested to others.

Bishop Dennis Campbell said...

I thought your comments on Job expressed the essence and meaning of the book. It also appears that you have a good understanding of Galatians. I look forward to your future posts.

Blessings.