My wife and I recently saw the movie Paul, The Apostle of Christ. It was a humbling experience. The movie shares the last days of Paul as he and Luke spend time together in Mamertine Prison while Luke writes down Paul’s story. Paul’s credentials were impressive. From his religious upbringing, his persecution of Christians, his miraculous conversion, his sufferings, church plantings, outreaches, and miracles, his accomplishments were beyond compare.
Paul had good reason to boast. But despite all that he accomplished, Paul counted all his works as unimportant following in the light of Jesus. I have always been a life-long learner, but despite cobbling together a ThD, I am humbled in the reflection of Paul’s experienced. This makes me wonder if I can stop basing my own self-image on scholarly degrees or education?
Paul suffered greatly. After watching the movie, it drove home how Paul did not dwell on his physical sufferings, despite being in prison and suffering almost daily abuses. Compared to Jesus, Paul considers his sufferings as temporary and part of his calling. This makes me wonder if I can stop letting my own sufferings dominate thoughts or conversations?
Paul performed miracles in his service to Jesus. Despite this amazing experience, Paul did not boast. When I get hints of Jesus working in my little life, compared to Paul, can I, in all humbleness, rejoice in those small things instead of focusing on myself?
Arguably, no other human figure in the Bible demonstrated more humility while sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as Paul. Paul was fully committed to God. Despite his circumstances, Paul praised God and used his current position to share the good news and advance the Gospel. Through his hardships and suffering, Paul knew the outcome of a life well lived for Christ. He had surrendered his life fully, trusting God for everything. He wrote, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Today, let’s allow God to change our lives according to the example set forth by the Apostle Paul.
Each morning upon rising pray this brief prayer to God,
“Dear Lord, today I will believe You completely, I will love You supremely, I will obey You totally and I will glorify You fully. Let me live my life in such a way that I do not deflect your glory but reflect your glory! In Jesus name, Amen.”