The apostle Paul must have been a real list-maker. Seems to fit his personality of "doing, doing, doing", right? He was a purposeful guy who had his eyes fixed on the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. All that he did--and it was around thirty years of non-stop work--was for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be spread throughout the world. Now, he would be the first to tell you that this work was accomplished through Jesus' power, not his own weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12). So, lest we be tempted to think we're 'no apostle Paul', let's begin this post with the reminder that through Christ, who strengthens us, we can do all things.
In a Bible study lesson I was inspired to consider the many lists that Paul creates in his letters to the New Testament churches and people. Recently, I have begun going through each of these lists and considering the importance of them.
For instance, in Romans 1, we see the effects of ungodliness and unrighteousness. This is one of Paul's most detailed lists and one worthy of studying further. Unlike his other lists, not only are the ones listed (in Romans 1:29-31) as the culprits for deserving death, but so also are those who approve of these actions.
Paul creates various lists of sins to avoid, but he also lists processes of encouragement. Romans 5 strengthens me as I consider what our justification by faith gives a Believer:
- peace with God through Jesus
- access by faith into grace in which we stand
- joy as we have hope of the glory of God
- glory in tribulations because...(and here's another list)...tribulations produce:
- and hope!
Are you a list-maker? Lists certainly do produce a real sense of accomplishment. But, as I view my daily tasks-and my life as a whole, I am challenged by the purpose behind my lists. I pray that we would be industrious women who would be frequently reminded of our great need for the Lord in all we do--for His strength, for His presence, for His encouragement.
May all that we accomplish today and every day be for His glory.