Paul's Work as a Missionary
14My friends, I am sure that you are very good and that you have all the knowledge you need to teach each other. 15But I have spoken to you plainly and have tried to remind you of some things. God treated me with undeserved grace! 16He chose me to be a servant of Christ Jesus for the Gentiles and to do the work of a priest in the service of his good news. God did this so that the Holy Spirit could make the Gentiles into a holy offering, pleasing to him.
17Because of Christ Jesus, I can take pride in my service for God. 18In fact, all I will talk about is how Christ let me speak and work, so that the Gentiles would obey him. 19Indeed, I will tell how Christ worked miracles and wonders by the power of the Holy Spirit. I have preached the good news about him all the way from Jerusalem to Illyricum. 20But I have always tried to preach where people have never heard about Christ. I am like a builder who doesn't build on someone else's foundation. 21 It is just as the Scriptures say,
“All who haven't been told
will see him,
and those who haven't heard
Paul's Plan To Visit Rome
22 My work has always kept me from coming to see you.
Paul is addressing a church that that he had not founded, nor even visited. He longed to visit and teach believers in Rome in person, but he had so far been prevented because he had been so busy preaching the gospel in places where Christ was not yet known. Paul’s agenda consisted simply of fulfilling the mandate that he received from the Lord. All of his time and energies were devoted to this one priority.
Today life is hectic and there are many demands for our attention: work, family, church, projects, etc. We are called to choose between what is a priority, what is important and that which is urgent.
We are forever dealing with the danger of living under what Charles Hummel called “the tyranny of the urgent” and unfortunately the urgent sometimes comes at the expense of what is our top priority.
Strange as it may seem, we can be actively doing and pursuing things for the Lord, yes, even things of an urgent nature and yet, somehow completely fail to accomplish that which is central and essential to his mission! The apostle Paul mastered what was essential to his mission: namely, to fulfill that for which God had called him to do and to subordinate everything else.
Every day has 24 hours, no more, no less. No one has ever yet lengthened one day. Time is so precious but God can grant us wisdom that will enable us to maximize the time that he has allotted to each of us.
Matthew 6:33 exhorts us to seek first the kingdom of God and all that he wants. He then promises to give us all things.
If I were to consult my agenda and examine my priorities of recent days, in all honesty, what would my ambitions and motivations in life look like?
Lord, help me to know well the difference between priorities, important things and things urgent. May my agenda reflect the priorities that you have purposed for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.