All posts tagged: Apostle Paul

Refreshing Times of Reconciliation


This short epistle (letter) written by Paul to Philemon has one of the most powerful messages on conflict resolution in the bible. This story is not only a powerful demonstration of the gospel to transform lives (“formerly he was useless” but “now he is indeed useful,” v. 11), but also a demonstration of the powerful impact the gospel can have on human relationships as well (receive him “no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother,” v. 16). Apparently during Paul’s three-year ministry in Ephesus, Philemon heard the gospel and was saved. He began serving the cause of Christ in the Colossian community, opening his home for a group of Christians to meet there regularly. At some point, Onesimus, one of Philemon’s slaves, fled to Rome, possibly having stolen money (or property) from Philemon and now a fugitive. Onesimus somehow came into contact with the apostle Paul and became a Christian. As he grew in Christ, he spent much time and effort helping Paul, who was severely constrained by his imprisonment. Paul thus wrote this letter as an appeal to Philemon to appreciate …

Human life is a pilgrimage between two moments of nakedness


There was a wealthy lady who died, and everybody in the community was extremely curious as to the extent of her fortune. One person was brash enough to come up to the pastor immediately after the funeral and whisper in his ear, “How much did she leave?” The pastor had the wisdom to reply, “She left everything.” The apostle Paul also calls us to a lifestyle of simplicity and contentment. I have learned,” he said, “in whatever state I am therewith to be content Paul said, Godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into this world and we shall take nothing out of it. Or as Job put it, Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall return. Have you ever considered, brothers and sisters, that human life is a pilgrimage between two moments of nakedness? We would be wise to travel light because there is no doubt that we shall leave everything behind. Let us be content. Covetous people always fall into a traps. The love of money is a …

Again in travail …


Let me start by asking you a question about what you think it takes to start a church. What do you think it takes to win your friends or lead a community into a vibrant life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ? For some of us the answer to those questions may be simple. Simple as get some good connections, a celebrity preacher to do a spot for you, run it on radio or TV – than get a little social on all the social networks and you are on your way. But it wasn’t that easy for Paul and his companions. For them, it was great labor both physically and spiritually. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you. Galatians 4:19 There is one thing worth mentioning in this verse: Besides the many details mentioned in Acts 13 and Acts 14 about his sorrows and bitter sufferings, there had been an agony of travail (like that of a woman in childbirth) on Paul’s part at the founding of …

My Grace is sufficient for you…for my power is perfected in weakness


Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I …