Paul’s example shows us
that we need to be
empowered in the Lord
to serve Him as
In the entire New Testament the Greek word for “Empowered,” endynamoo, is only used by, or of, the Apostle Paul. (That’s how the RcV translates this word; other versions translate it along the lines of “grew in strength.”)
Indeed, he was empowered very soon after he was saved:
But Saul was all the more empowered, and he confounded the Jews dwelling in Damascus by proving that this One is the Christ.
— Acts 9:22
Here we read that, as a new believer, Paul (called “Saul” at that time), was “all the more empowered.” This tells us that he had already been empowered to some extent just after he was baptized by Ananias, when he first began to publicly testify for the Lord (Acts 9:20); it seems he did not wait for the power, but as he boldly went out for the Lord, the power did come to him. Now, however, he was “all the more empowered” as the Jews began to wonder how he could have had such a turn. What a healthy beginning he had!
Many years later he testified to his spiritual son Timothy that it was the Lord who had entrusted the gospel to him and empowered him to preach it, appointing him to the ministry (1 Tim. 1:11-12). Even for his daily living, whether in want or in plenty, it was Christ who empowered him (Phil. 4:11-13). And even to the very end of his life, just before his martyrdom, the Lord still empowered him to announce the gospel. He wrote to Timothy that, when all others had abandoned him,
…the Lord stood with me and empowered me that through me the proclamation of the gospel might be fully accomplished and all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the lion’s mouth.
— 2 Timothy 4:16-17
Moreover, Paul desired that his fellow believers would be empowered to serve the Lord as well. He urged Timothy to be empowered in the grace that is in Christ to carry on the Lord’s work (2 Tim. 2:1). He prayed for the believers in Colossae to be empowered with all power, as they walked in a manner worthy of the Lord, so that they might endure with joy (Col. 1:10-11). And he urged the saints in Ephesus to be empowered in the Lord and in the might of His strength, to be able to stand against all the stratagems of the devil (Eph. 6:10-11).
May we learn from Paul’s example of our need to be empowered to serve the Lord in an acceptable way today, especially when the age we live in is so dark and so hostile to the gospel!
Lord, grant us follow the example of Your servant Paul, that we may be empowered to serve You just as he was!
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— 22 October 2022 —