Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Seeing Yourself in Rom. 1:1

Please don't me think me sacreligious, but I thought it might be interesting to substitute my name for Paul's at the beginning of Romans. 

It's not as ridiculous as it sounds. Take the third line. All of us are to be engaged in evangelism, in gospel ministry. I recently heard of a large evangelical church in the UK that refers to its missions pastor as "pastor of missional living." I love that. Furthermore, when they have a missionary as a guest speaker, he or she is referred to not as a "missionary" but as a "missions partner." 

Let's look at the second line. Here I wrote that I am "called to be a teacher." You see, each of us has a calling from God. Paul was an apostolos. I am a didaskalos. You might be a carpenter or a nurse. It is by God's calling we are what we are.

Finally, in line one, Paul called himself a servant/slave of Christ Jesus. The word doulos conjures up an image of absolute submission to and thorough dependence on one's master. I asked Jesus to be my Lord at the age of 8 in Kailua, Hawaii. But bowing the knee is not a one and done event. It's a daily act. The more we grow in our love for and trust in this Lord, we find we can relinquish more and more of our unsurrendered lives to him. Those areas that today are out of bounds to him, areas we're resolutely holding back from him -- let's believe that in time we will have grown enough in our love and trust to hand even those over to him. 

So there you have it:

We are servants of Christ.

We each have a calling in life from his hand.

And we are all his gospel ministers wherever he puts us. 

I ask you humbly: Do you see yourself as such?