“Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes.
Three times I was beaten with rods.
Once I was stoned.
Three times I was shipwrecked.
Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.
I have traveled on many long journeys.
I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers.
I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles.
I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas.
And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.
I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights.
I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food.
I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.
Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.
Who is weak without my feeling that weakness?
Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?” (2Cor 11:24-28, NLT)
Defying religion’s claims and resilient in the worst of circumstances the apostle opened a path, utilizing all means to offer the Kingdom freely to everyone—to the weak, the more, the Jews, those under the law, those without the law. To everyone. To all.
Paul makes clear how great is our salvation. That one man, filled with God’s Spirit, can be graced to build God’s Kingdom in his generation. Powerfully and unafraid.
Forerunner, father, disciple-maker. Paul led the way. Imitating his example, we step up. We now are sent to the work Paul began. We are forerunners and fathers, making disciples.
The path Paul opened is open still. Tag—you’re it!