Why does Paul think that he should or could write such a letter to a congregation that he had never met? Not out of presumption, but merely out of his calling. Paul claims that he only speaks, teaches and does what Christ had led him to do. This is a wise example to follow today. Even people with the gift of teaching or preaching need to remember to bite their tongues when it comes to stuff that they do not feel specifically led to speak. Such people are gifted to share what God has shown them and compelled them to share—not simply in speaking generally. The same goes for all spiritual gifts and service. We should do what we are led to do for God’s glory and that only. We should regularly obtain confirmation of our message, not merely at the beginning of a lifetime of presumed ministry.
Paul also gives us some insight here into his motivations for moving west. He is called to serve where there is no other voice. He has already filled the regions where he was with the message of the Gospel. Now he has no valid reason to remain there. His mission needs to continue, and not transition into another form of ministry in the established churches. He needs to continue in his gifting. We too need to be aware of our calling, our gifting and what God has for us to do for His glory. If that requires us to leave comfort zones to remain useful, we need to be prepared to do so.
Maurice Sendak Illustrates Tolstoy
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