Preparation in Arabia
“Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus“ (Galatians 1:17).
The apostle Paul clearly understood the call Jesus placed on his life at his conversion. He did not have to consult other men about this calling. But before he was released to begin his own mission, He went to Arabia for three years. Why did Paul have to go to Arabia for three years before he ever met another disciple of Jesus Christ?
The Scripture does not tell us plainly why Paul spent three years in Arabia. However, based upon many examples of God placing special callings on people’s lives, we know it often requires a time of separation between the old life and the new life. No doubt, Paul had plenty of time to consider what had taken place in his life and time to develop an intimate knowledge and relationship with the newfound Savior. His life was about to change dramatically.
So often, when God places a call on one of His children, it requires a separation between the old life and the new life. There is a time of being away from the old in order to prepare the heart for what is coming. It can be a painful and difficult separation. Joseph was separated from his family. Jacob was sent to live with his uncle Laban. Moses was sent to the desert.
Perhaps God has placed you in your own desert period. Perhaps you cannot make sense of the situation in which you find yourself. If you press into God during this time, He will reveal the purposes He has for you. The key is pressing into Him. Seek Him with a whole heart and He will be found. God may have a special calling and message He is building in your life right now. Trust in His love for you that He will fully complete the work He has started in you.
This about caused the coffee snort through nose this morning…
Is so true…Lets not mention the ‘hard’ parts, the ‘truths’ let us make ourselves a ‘cookie’ cutter Bible..That only says good, nice, feely things…so we can go to H–L unsuspectingly and feeling so nice and good about ourselves…
Not going to work…you either accept ALL of G-d’s Word and believe it, live it…Or forget about it..
A Counterfeit Gospel?
I watched a very famous preacher being interviewed awhile ago on television. When the topic of sin came up, the preacher said, “I never talk about sin. I never use the word sin, because people already know they are sinners. I am not here to beat people down. I just want to lift them up.”
However, I don’t think that most people know they are sinners. And our job is not just to lift people up; it is to point them to Christ. So we have to use the word sin.
There is a counterfeit gospel. The apostle Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). Just because someone uses the term gospel doesn’t mean he or she is referring to the genuine gospel. Even if someone claims they are preaching the gospel, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the real gospel.
For the gospel to be genuine, certain things must be in place. And one of those things is the acknowledgement that everyone has sinned. As 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
The only solution for our sin being removed is the cross. If the cross is not proclaimed, then it is not the gospel. Any proper presentation of the gospel includes the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the believers at Corinth, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Whenever there is the genuine, there also will be the counterfeit. And the devil has his fake version of just about everything—even the gospel.