The “Songs of the Deliverer” series tells the story of Christ and the Apostles re-imagined in modern day. It is a work of fiction but the stories and characters are based on the New Testament. These Reflections feature Biblical verses referenced in the second book, Faith Wins.
Referenced in Chapter 23
Have I done enough?
That’s a question we each face at various times in our life. It’s the question Paul considered often in his divine mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Here is what he told the Philippians when he pledges to take on the goal that Christ has set for him:
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13 -14)
To Paul, the answer to the question: have I done enough? Not yet.
So he continued, always faithful to the hope that inspired him:
“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. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:20 – 21)
He tells the people the quandary he faces daily: to do the work commissioned by Christ, or to gain his glorious reward with God in eternity. Yet while he is ever hopeful of gaining eternity with Christ, he knows he still has work to do on earth:
“I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.” (Philippians 1:23 – 26)
Once again, to the question, have I done enough, Paul says: not yet.
He presses on. Onward in his journeys across the known world. Subjected to ridicule and condemnation, punished by the authorities for his faith, the Apostle Paul marched on in battle devoted to the cross. From the road to Damascus to Jerusalem, from Thessalonia and then to Galatia, Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae. On foot, by boat, through starvation and thirst, sickened and often beaten, Paul endured. He ran the race Christ set forth for him. Each step of the journey, he asked the question, have I done enough?
Finally, he confronts the most powerful rulers in the world: the Romans. Paul boldly declares to them:
“Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” (Acts of the Apostles 23:1)
Paul refutes demands of allegiance to the Roman empire and is beaten yet again and imprisoned. But now having single-handedly taken on the mighty king of Rome, Paul’s unyielding fidelity to God grows in fame across the globe. People of all nations hear of this man, a Christian. They learn from him and they become disciples of Jesus Christ. Paul has succeeded in making Christians of countless people. His life-changing work of discipleship perseveres still today, two thousand years later. Victory is won.
In his final days, chained but not broken, he writes a letter to his protégé, Timothy:
“I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6 – 8)
For Paul, the race is finished. Did Paul do enough?
Yes, Paul, you did enough. You taught us how to be Christians. You showed us how to claim the crown of righteousness from God. And that’s more than enough. That’s everything.
Here is link to the book on Amazon: Songs of the Deliverer II – Faith Wins
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