Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ephesians: All of Grace (cont'd.)

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God," (1:1).

* A theme that runs throughout a number of Paul's letters is that of his apostleship. Because he was not in the company of the original twelve, and received his apostolic commission years later, he was sensitive to accusations that he did not possess the same authority as did they. Paul knew better. From that incredible day on the Damascus road onward, his life was fully focused on fulfilling the role, scope and duty of an apostle. As the popular saying goes, 'the world didn't give it to him, and world couldn't take it away.'

Thinking of Paul's blinding and healing experience on that road to Damascus, it is interesting to note that the Lord will often (if not always) tailor the depth of encounter to the depth of need to recall it later.

When initially calling a man or woman to His purposes for that life, He will give a more dramatic experience, a greater revealing of Himself, to the one who will encounter greater challenges down the road. For the one whose ministry will face fewer difficulties, His call will be engaging, but not earth-shattering. With the experiences Paul was to have, and the trials that he was to face, it is little wonder that the Lord confronted him in such a fashion at the outset of his ministry.

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