The Last Point I Had To Cut From My Message

When I was preaching this Sunday, I realized that I was running over my allotted time and made the decision to cut a few points from my message. At least one of them would make a good post on this blog so here it is.

Romans 1:1-3a Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 he promised beforehand which through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son…

The phrase “set apart for the gospel of God” indicates that God had given Paul the responsibility or assignment of taking the gospel to the nations (see v. 5). What a difference it makes to know that what you are doing is the mission that the eternal God has given to you. When there were hard days, and Paul had plenty of hard days (see 2 Corinthians 11), he could gain strength from knowing that his mission was from God (see Galatians 6:9). When there were joys, he stayed humble by remembering that God had given him this mission and empowered him to accomplish it (see Colossians 1:28-29). When no one cared and he wondered whether he was making any difference at all, when he recounted the sacrifices that he’d made and wondered if it was worth it, he knew that God had given him this work and that it would not be in vain (see 1 Corinthians 15:58)

This is exactly how we should see our lives. Here’s what I mean: Just as Paul was set apart to take the gospel to the Gentile nations so you and I are set apart for the task that God has given us. God’s got a big team and every Christian is on it. That means that every Christian has been given at least one assignment (and probably more than one) by God. God has assigned some to be missionaries but that isn’t the only assignment on God’s team.

Perhaps the task that God has given you is to be a mom of young kids. If that’s your assignment, then you know that there are difficult days. There are days that your child doesn’t take his nap, days that your child is sick but can’t tell you what’s wrong, days that she won’t eat well. There are days when you wonder if all the reading, playing, carting around, and disciplining are making any difference. There are days where you are just plain tired and worn out. But there is strength, stamina and hope available in God. For this season in your life, raising young kids is the assignment that God has given you and he will supply you with what you need for the task. The same promise is made to fathers and students and accountants and teachers and to every Christian hard at work at their God-given responsibility. You have been set apart by God for divine purpose. Don’t minimize the significance of that.

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