The Apostle Paul Devotional
by Bobby Bruno

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Romans 5:1 (NIV)

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"
Philippians 4:4 (NIV)

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV)

Lots of others come up with words to describe Paul, such as, compassionate, truthful, honest, and brave. But when I look at Paul, I see a man who put it all on the line for Jesus Christ. I see a man who never backed down from a challenge to his faith in Christ, or a challenge placed before the growing churches that he and others had started in Jesus' Name.

I see a man who was stubborn in everything he said concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul never once compromised on the message he had to give; the message that he had been given by Christ Himself. Paul's relentless drive to make sure that others got the message right drove him to personally revisit those churches that weren't getting it right, even if he had to walk hundreds of miles to bring his face to them.

I see a man who was consistent in what he taught. Never once did Paul act in a way contrary to his strong personality. He was consistent in his message; never giving one church one way to do a thing, and another church another way of doing the same thing. He never let his own ideas and philosophies get in the way of the message he was given to carry, and he made sure that others who carried Christ's message did the same thing.

And then I see a brutal man. Not brutal as in physical strength, but brutal as in the spiritual strength in his words. Paul was very brutal in what he had to say to those who needed comforting but harsh words spoken to them. If a church was giving into the temptation of sexual immorality, Paul held nothing back in telling them to knock it off and return to Christ immediately. If individuals were continually falling into temptation, he told the church to kick them out until they learned their lesson and came back repentant and came back to Christ, and then they would be readmitted to the church.

To sum it all up: I see Paul to be a brutally stubborn consistent man who's love for Christ and His message gave him the heart and drive to see that every person he came in contact with got to hear the gospel at least once before he left town. Paul's salvation in Christ was all that was needed to give this man the right to be Paul. I thank Paul that he never once backed-down, even in the face of certain death or torture.

Like Paul, I, too, can be brutally stubborn and consistent when it comes to teaching the message of salvation through Christ. I have been appointed a steward of the gospel by Jesus Christ Himself in 1999. Only His message and His message alone is all you will hear from my mouth, for his message the only one that contains the words of life, and those words are perfect. How can imperfection change what is already perfect?

If we study the New Testament diligently, we will, like Paul, have the words of Christ directly from His mouth. Once we have them, they will become the only words we know will bring salvation to the hearts of all those around us who need to hear them. If all we speak is Christ, then the kingdom of God will greatly expand, just as it did under the feet and hands of the Apostle Paul. The New Testament is our life and our guide through it. Let's learn it, live it, and then teach it to others so that they may become like the Apostle Paul: stubborn, consistent, and brutal in teaching the word of God to the world that needs to hear it. Let's preach the message just the way that Paul preached it: stubbornly, consistently, and brutally, no matter what the cost.

Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love.  He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.

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