But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles…
Thoughts for Today:When did Paul receive his call to ministry? God set him apart since before his birth -- while he was still in his mother's womb. In other words, all of Paul's life experience played a critical role in the work God had prepared for him to do -- even when he was consumed with religiosity and the persecution of the church. Yet, all the while God knew Paul would become an Apostle and writer of much of the New Testament.
This is one of the most encouraging Scriptures in the Bible. How so? Because it tells each of us beyond doubt that God is in control. He never abandons us no matter how far off track we might become; and it is never too late (on this side of the grave), to get involved in ministry.
On multiple occasions, Scripture tells us that we have been designed by God with a specific purpose in mind. We didn't just randomly evolve. For example, Psalm 139:13-14, 16: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Paul simply recognized two great truths: God has a pre-designed purpose for each of us, and our gifts and talents are uniquely given in order to achieve His purpose. We still have the freedom to choose -- which includes the choice to walk in the Lord's plan or not. So although Paul was separated in his mother's womb, during the first part of his life, he some real misunderstandings of how he was to implement God's plan.
Questions to Ponder:If we find ourselves off-track, how do we get back to God's plan? Paul tells us it is by revelation of the Son in us. When we allow the indwelling Spirit of Christ to express Himself through us, all of our talents and gifts can be used to their fullest potential. But it is a choice we must make. Will you yield to His calling?