How well do you point others to Christ? One of the best ways to evaluate the answer to that question is by paying close attention to the words you use. Do you talk more about you when speaking to others . . . or more about Him? The apostle Paul was a master at pointing to His Prince whenever he opened his mouth, especially when he was boasting.
I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of sings and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:17-19)
Paul was continually boasting . . . but never about himself. He was constantly pointing to his Prince and all that Jesus was doing through Paul and his ministry. To be sure, Paul was proud of his ministry and what he was doing for the glory of God. And he should have been proud! We all should be serving God in such a way that we are proud of our service. Being proud of what we do is biblical and a good thing. Being prideful is not!
Notice Paul said, “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me . . .” He never talked about his abilities or his accomplishments. He never sought the applause of man. No, Paul was constantly pointing to his Prince and sought to bring acclaim to his Master. Paul used every word to witness for Jesus. His language was designed to point others away from himself and toward his Savior.
Can the same be said about you? The apostle Paul’s ministry was immensely successful by anyone’s standard, including God’s, who confirmed Paul’s success with “signs and miracles.” Yet Paul steadfastly refused to take any credit for any of it. He always exulted in what God in Christ was doing both in Paul and through him.
The great reformer Martin Luther obviously took a page from Paul’s book:
We preach always Him, this may seem a limited and monotonous subject, likely to be soon exhausted, but we are never at the end of it.
Christ was the foundation upon which Paul built his entire existence, and the apostle made sure to give all the credit where the credit was due. Paul was totally dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit for the advancement of his ministry. Paul knew his success was not due to his intellect, education, up-bringing, social status, or past training. It was solely the result of God’s powerful grace flowing through his weak life. Because of this truth, Paul could point only to his Prince as the reason for his successful results.
So . . . in what direction have you been pointing lately?
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!