Reflection: What motivates you? What gives you energy and drive to do things? The gospel of Jesus Christ motivates Paul to pour himself out with every ounce of his energy. He gives himself utterly to the cause of the gospel – not as an abstract ideology but for the sake of those who have heard and received it.
Paul is certainly a determined man. His original determination had been to murder Christians, so that he could prove that Israel was obedient to God.
But because of his encounter with Jesus Christ and his experience of God’s grace, his mission has changed. He is completely dedicated to the cause of Christ – not as a side project, but as the one thing in life worth doing. Is he simply a fanatic? No, he’s right – if Christ is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn over all creation, and the one who will inherit all things, then that people know about him and live in him is a mission that ought to grip everyone who knows Christ.
And so, Paul spends his precious time not just proclaiming the gospel, but coaching disciples of Christ. He teaches and corrects them so that they are ‘fully mature’, or ‘completed’ or ‘perfected’ in Christ. He wants to lead them in the love that ought to abound from the heart of the Christian person, so that they are transformed – and ultimately, fully clothed in Christ. That’s something worth being passionate about.
Prayer: Father, give me Paul’s hunger for the gospel, and his deep concern for your people; and fill me too with the energy that Christ worked in him, that I might do some of your extraordinary work in the world. Please make me mature in Christ. Amen.