The Apostle Paul is known as a ‘true’ missionary.Prior to his conversion, he was a ‘top persecutor’ of Jesus’ followers and disciples, but he met Jesus on his way to Damascus and became ‘a Servant of Jesus Christ’ – that’s how he described himself. He preached the Gospel message that Jesus is the Son of God and will soon return.During his ministry, Paul travelled to many parts of Asia Minor and Europe, but at his last visit to Jerusalem, he was arrested, put in chains and taken to the tribune.Eventually he was held as a prisoner and spent two years under house arrest in Rome.
Paul was all alone in prison; he was far away from home awaiting his execution. Everything had been taken away from him: his freedom, his family and friends, his ministry and also his services. Even though he had lost everything, there was one thing that could not be taken away from him, which was his purpose in life. He still FOCUSed on the ministry, his desire to serve God and bring the Gospel message to the world. He wrote in Philippians 1:12-14 NIV, (12)“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the Gospel. (13) As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. (14) And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the Gospel without fear.”
The dictionary defines FOCUS as a ‘target’ or ‘focal point’ of attention.Despite his imprisonment, Paul saw the Gospel as a target and focal point of his attention; hence he was thought to be a true missionary. He wrote in verses 18-20, (18) “But what does it matter?The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, (19) for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance, (20) I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” (NIV)Paul did FOCUS on his life’s purpose not on his problem.
I remember when I was a lad, I used to play with a magnifying glass under the sun. Sunlight carries power in the form of energy, and by focusing the light on the magnifying glass, I was concentrating the energy into a single point that could trigger a chemical reaction that would raise the temperature very high.By so doing we could burn a piece of paper exposed to it. It’s an interesting experiment. Focusing the light by concentration will produce tremendous power. If we FOCUSed our point of attention on our ministries, God’s power can help us to have something done tremendously. “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5 (NLT).If we want God to use us in mighty ways, we will need to FOCUS. The more FOCUSED we are in our ministries, the more effective we will be, and the more God will use us. Paul has been a great role model for our ministries.