Paul was a role model with a message

As you go to check out of your local grocery store, you will most likely see a variety of different magazines glorifying Hollywood's elite. Many in our society have come to look up to and admire those who have done nothing admirable.

Movie stars, musicians, even some of the political figures have become role models of today's youth. The Bible is full of many great role models, ordinary people who demonstrate a godly character.

In my own life, the apostle Paul has stood out.

When speaking to the Ephesian elders, Paul reminded them how he used to live while in Ephesus.

"I served with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews." Acts 20:19.

Paul understood that he was a servant of God and because of that he went where God led him, he spoke to those God put in front of him, and his message was the one God had given to him.

As a servant, Paul's goal was not to win the approval of men, but Christ, something that made him very unpopular.

Paul took his job very seriously and worked diligently to complete it. In his farewell speech he reminds the elders of his goal.

"If only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24.

Paul's mission was the commission and he spent his life completing that goal, finally taking the gospel to Rome where he was martyred. It is very rare to find people today who are as dedicated and selfless.

At the end of Paul's message to the elders, he declares himself "innocent of the blood of all men." This was an amazing statement for Paul, the former persecutor of the faith to make.

He felt an incredible responsibility to the people he came in contact with to share his faith with them. In the end the reason he could make such a statement is because as he said, "I have not hesitated to proclaim the whole will of God." Acts 20:27.

Paul's message was one of repentance and saving faith and by sharing that message with others he felt he had done his duty as a watchman.

Like Christ, Paul did not only look to his own interest, but also the interest others. Paul was a servant, he was selfless, and he genuinely cared about others. Christians can learn a lot by simply following his example.

• Micheal Hurlbert is the youth pastor of First Christian Church in Carson City and a member of the Carson City Ministerial Fellowship.


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