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Paul’s Zeal for God’s Work

by Ma. May Pestaňo

At first it had been my desire to study in IBI in order to be more equipped to do missions in Indonesia. Last summer, God granted my heart’s desire! I was able to enroll in IBI and praise God for the additional blessing, for somebody offered to pay for my tuition fee. “Indeed no one can receive anything except that which comes from heaven.” (Jn. 3:27)

One of my courses is about the Dawning of the Church and it tackles about missions. As we studied the life of Paul as a missionary in Acts, Romans, I and II Corinthians, what struck me most is his zeal for God’s work which sprang from his encounter with Christ and his close communion with Him. Paul is fixed on Jesus and focused on Him alone! I came to have a glimpse of his heart and why he said in Phil.3:7,8 “Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as refuse in order that I may gain Christ.” In all his experiences, his main objective was gaining Christ!!!

As a result, God’s call for his life was very clear, which was in union with what is in the heart of God. As Paul pursued the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, his main concern was not his safety, but he took every opportunity to preach the gospel instead of defending himself or preserving his life. I can see that the presence of God and his desire to share in the sufferings of Christ was what sustained him in the ministry with all the hardships, trials, persecutions, weakness etc. Paul existed for God, unlike me that most of the time I act as if God exists for me.

Studying in IBI makes me understand more of who my God is, what He has done for me through Jesus Christ and what is in His heart for the world – the salvation of man and His desire to see lives of people transformed by the gospel for His glory. It gives me more insight on how to share the gospel to others as long as I am an empty vessel to be filled with His Spirit. Only God can touch hearts of people and draw them to Him.

Moreover, I realized that my greatest reward as I do the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20), is God Himself – His nearness, His joy, His salvation, the privilege of worshipping Him, knowing Him and having first-hand experience of His presence and mighty workings. He is an infinite God and I could not exhaust Him, but thanks be to God who is rich in mercy and grace, for giving me an amazing privilege to have a slight glimpse of who He is.

This study indeed reinforced what God had been teaching me for the past months that  ” The greatest gift of God to man is God Himself!! ”

If you would like to know more on how you and your church can benefit by starting a Bible Education Program in your church through I.B.I. (International Bible Institute of London). Please call us at Telephone No.: (+63 32) 262 7455 or send us an email: [email protected]