My Dearest Paul,
I was saddened to find out of your death by beheading in the city Rome, but I am deeply inspired by your teachings and belief. I was astonished to hear of your conversion from not believing in Christ to believing and becoming a disciple of Christ. I wish that I could sit and listen to you tell your life story of how you were a persecutor of Christians and a murderer of people that believed that Christ is raised from the dead. I have lots of questions about how you came to know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. I know the story of your traveling on your journey to Damascus to persecute and murder Christians by the order requested by you from the king, and I also read and heard about how Jesus blinded you, and for three days you were not able to eat or drink. My question is; were you fearful or had Jesus taken away your fleshly desire for natural nourishment? While you were blind, did God bring back to your remembrance all of the crimes that you had committed against you? Did you lay there allowing God to transition you from a hater of Jesus to a lover of Christ? I can only imagine being blinded, and I’m sure my imagination is not at all like feelings that you encountered, but I am curious about your in depth experiences with Christ. I ponder about how it felt, and how did this conversion take place internally. I love this quote of yours which says
“We are fools for the sake of Christ; we are hungry and thirsty; we are poorly clothed and beaten; we are homeless and we grow weary of the work from our own hands; when reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; but God proves his love for us, and yet while we were still sinners Jesus died for us, because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is the Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you’ll be saved.”
I feel as though I have a similar passion for Christ as this you have described. This was said by you after you had suffered a stoning from Roman soldiers after arriving in Cyprus. You witnessed the power of Jesus when a man was healed that was lame with weak legs from birth and could not walk or stand, but you Paul witness the healing and you were able to look at this man stand and walk around because of the power of Jesus Christ. I would have loved to have been there with you to witness such a miracle. To be privileged to be in the presence of such power and authority. Were you growing weary at the time of this saying, or were you explaining to others all that is required; all that a person will or may have to endure in order to be a loyal child to Christ? I did not receive an angry tone of voice from you while reading and listening to this saying by you, but I depicted a strong since of humbleness and explanation to other believers. It’s like you were saying to me, “yes what we go through for the sake of Christ is uncomfortable and painful, but it’s okay because Christ sacrificed much more than hungriness, tiredness and frustration for us. Jesus sacrificed his life for us and we must strive to do the same.
I have experienced this sort of sacrifice myself. I have been in a place, really a church where I have been reviled and persecuted simply because of who I am and whom I serve through my religious belief, but God allowed me to see that some people are blinded by their own opinions which has nothing to do with Gods work. I have also been poorly clothed, thirsty and hungry. I know that only God made a way for me and my family. Even more, God is everything to me, and he has shown his love for me countless times in my life.
I really enjoyed your teachings about accepting people as they are and not try to change them into your idea of how all people should be. I agree that people should be different and being different is what makes the world a spectacular place. I agree that Jesus as he walked among people, accepted people for exactly what they were, Jesus was only interested in changing the heart of people in order to make a person’s life better. The teachings of Christ were and continue to be universal, which are applicable everywhere and pertaining to the whole. I am intrigued about how God made all of the people in the world, but yet made us all different all at the same time. Yes we will have some of the characteristics and traits from our parents, grandparents, and other family members but inside where our deepest thoughts, opinions lay, the center of our greatest likes and dislikes we are all different.
Moreover, you’re teachings about love and how love is, and what love is not or will never be is astounding. The bible says that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” I don’t know anyone in this world that would sacrifice their child or son for the sake of everyone else in the world to live while their son or child dies. This is the greatest love that I have ever come to learn and know about.
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious, not boastful; or arrogant; or rude, it does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrong doing; it rejoices in the truth; it bears all things, believes all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.” “If I speak in the tongues of mortals, and of angels but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal; and if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.”
I have come to experience that when you can find someone that carries or exemplifies at least some of these characteristics that Paul has described here in this parables in regards to love that is better than little to none of these characteristics. Also, I have discovered that if a person has some of these qualities in regards to love, then they have some other great qualities as well. This world can be cold, difficult, frustrating and cruel. Sometimes it seems that there is not one kind person that has love at all in their hearts walking the planet that we call earth, but God does have some of us out there that still exemplify the love that Paul teaches through the lesson stated above.
I have experienced the type of love that is only spoken and not shown. According to the word of God the greatest explanation of love is in the above mentioned paragraph. I have had my share of bad love in my life. I have experienced love that is not patient or kind; love that is easily irritable, and that has resented me. This love is the kind of love that hurts and disappoints. I have come to learn that God’s love is unconditional.
“ For I say, through the grace given unto every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
I really enjoyed this lesson taught by you which explains how it’s not good to be prideful about ourselves. Although we may acquire more knowledge whether it be natural knowledge or spiritual, we must remain humble and not make others feel bad or beneath you. This also teaches us that we must not act or pretend as if we know more about a certain topic or situation in order to please others or in efforts to boast within ourselves before others as we are knowledgeable although we are not. This lesson really speaks to me because I have a problem with people that belittle others because of ignorance to a certain situation, topic, or culture. I think that if more people realized that there is a difference between ignorance and stupidity the world would be somewhat of a better place in this regard.
I have encountered people in my life that have treated me badly because I was not as smart as they were. To experience someone belittling you is not a good feeling at all. I don’t understand why I have to be as smart as the next person. Isn’t being different, even in our educational levels okay? I have come to learn that God gives us knowledge and wisdom based upon our faith in him, and according to our asking. Paul I understand you to be an intelligent man that has traveled the world teaching all that want to learn about Jesus. I find that to be extraordinary in my opinion because I have a difficult time telling people in my own community simply because they are not interested to hear about Jesus. Like you Paul, I will continue to teach the good news about Jesus Christ.
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
I am grateful for teachings such as this because I understand that as I grow more towards God, and more in God, I will become deeply grounded and rooted in him. Jesus will build me up and establish me in strength and integrity with wisdom, knowledge and understanding. All of these great aspects will work together according to my faith and will forever abound in grace and love through Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Teaching like the before mentioned lesson allows me to know and understand that Jesus wants us all to have a close relationship with him. Like the relationship between a parent and a child. Jesus loves us just that much, and I personally am so grateful that he cares. I have truly been inspired by your teachings and your efforts to exemplify what it really means to be a true servant of Christ. I am now seeking diligently holy and righteous wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the biblical teachings of Christ along with his divine order for my life. I now understand that we all have a purpose in the kingdom of God and it behooves us all to do our best at whatever it is that God has assigned for each person to do. I am again overjoyed that Christ’s love for us is completely unconditional and everlasting for all eternity; A love that showers us and cover a multitude of sin and faults each and every day. This love is freely given, and costs nothing in return to receive at all. God is love and love is God.
Paul of Tarsus, I have really enjoyed your expressing of knowledge which will indeed help lots of people to become better in many areas of their lives. I respect you highly, and I honor the Lord Jesus Christ for all that he has allowed you to share with the world. Please accept this letter as a token of my gratitude. Amen.