“I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:17&18 NIV84)
Be clear when I say that God has a purpose and a plan for us that goes beyond our entrance into the kingdom of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God always works with multiple purposes and layers. God goes way beyond cause-and-effect thinking. He not only works in us, but desires to work through us. In our verses for today Paul was told what God wanted to do through him. God wanted to reach the hearts and minds of Jews and Gentiles alike. He wanted to rescue them from their spiritual darkness and bring them to the light of His Word. We wanted to change their permanent residence from the kingdom of this world to the kingdom of God. He told Paul He would do all this through him as he preached, taught and defended the truth of the forgiveness of sins given through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now that is a noble calling for a noble purpose.
But God hasn’t only called guys and gals like Paul. He has called every one of us to be witnesses to what we have seen and heard from God. There are people in our lives who God wants to reach with the message of His kingdom. He relies on us to heed the call and be willing to be used by Him to reach others. He wants to go beyond the change He has worked in us. He wants to work through us to change the hearts and lives of those around us. May we share in spirit the same personal mission statement as Paul. Let’s be open to God’s working through us to the world around us.