Paul's ministry was saturated with the Word of God. Fifteen times in chapters thirteen and fourteen of Acts the phrases "God"s Word," the "Word of truth," the "teaching of the Lord," the "Law and the Prophets," and the "Good News" are mentioned (13:5,7,12,15,32,44,46,48, 49; 14:3,7,15,21,25).
On that first journey Paul took with him just enough to live on, sufficient clothing to cover his nakedness, a heart full of hope in God's truth, and a confidence in God that would keep him faithful. That's what held him together. That's what steeled him against the tightening jaws of mistreatment in the ministry.
Could it be that you've grown a little soft in the past few months in your commitment to time spent in the Scriptures? It may be happening to you just as it happens to me from time to time. Please heed this gentle warning: If you're getting ready to go off to school, or preparing to take on new ministry responsibilities, or getting ready to launch a new phase of your career, don't do it without first establishing a regular time to meet alone with the Lord, preparing yourself for the new challenge by spending time in His Word. Your spiritual future depends on it. Without that commitment to saturate your life with God's Word, you step into the unknown future at your own risk. I urge you to spend sufficient time with the Lord so you might be strengthened within. It can begin with as little as fifteen minutes each day.
Some of you are thinking, I don't have fifteen minutes a day! Try cutting your lunch break short so you've got time on the other end to spend reading through a Psalm or two or digesting one of the New Testament letters.
If Paul could saturate his life in the Word of God, you and I can too. You are touching some people in your sphere of influence that likely no one else will touch. Be known for your biblical commitment, your biblical counseling. Be known for your biblical advice. Be appreciated for your biblical stand on moral values. It all starts with your investment of time in the Bible. Go there. Become saturated with the Word of God. That in itself will carry you miles down the road toward establishing an authentic ministry.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, "Authentic Ministry," in Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005), 327. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
I am on a long flight home. I’m tired. The days away were well-spent but exhausting. I am glad I made the trip, but I’m even happier to be coming home. There’s nothing like a few days away to remind me how much I love being home.