Character Quality: Determination

Character Quality: Determination

Character Quality: Determination

 
After living a life in opposition to Jesus, having stood by as Jews stoned Stephen and enthusiastically persecuting the church, Saul found himself at a crossroads — literally. On his way to Damascus, Jesus confronted him asking, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?”
 
Struck blind and refusing food and water for three days, Saul wrestled through the questions until an angel sent Ananias to minister to him and restore his sight. Saul’s life completely changed. The message he had been so determined to destroy, he now boldly declared. The message of the cross became the new ministry focus of his life. His determination shifted from persecution to promotion, from imprisoning to empowering, from contending to confessing.
 
Saul’s name even changed to Paul as he set out on his new mission — to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. His passion for the gospel message was evident in his actions. He went on three missionary journeys and subsequently wrote several letters to those he taught. He had the gift of teaching, exhorting, and rebuking.
 
Paul experienced the powerful message of freedom in Jesus Christ first-hand. He used his training as a Jew to teach other Jews about Jesus, grace, and faith. His missionary journeys throughout the known world are evidence of his devotion to his calling. Not only did he establish churches, he also wrote to them admonishing and encouraging his fellows believers in Christ. Some of those letters survive today in the New Testament books of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and I & II Corinthians.
 
Many resisted Paul. The Jews didn’t want to have anything to do with the turncoat. The Gentiles were suspicious. Many Christians were too reluctant to embrace the man who had put so many believers in prison. But Paul’s determination to preach the gospel was not thwarted. Against opposition, even threats of death, he continued to preach of God’s grace and the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ.
 
In II Corinthians 4.7-12 Paul writes, But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
 
Determination is the character quality that helps us to stay the course when life gets tough, when others laugh or criticize, or when exhaustion saps our energy. We must “press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Paul realized God was determined to pursue of his heart. In response, Paul determined to invite others to give their hearts to the Lord.
 
A song we sang when I was a little girl comes to mind when I think of Paul:
“I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
‘Take thy cross and follow, follow Me’
 
Where He leads me I will follow,
Where He leads me I will follow,
Where He leads me I will follow,
I’ll go with Him, with Him, all the way.”
 
Paul determined to follow Christ not matter the cost, to follow wherever He lead, to preach the message of grace, to finish the race. May we determine to stay the course God has laid out for our lives as well.
 
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Character Quality: Determination

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Rachael Carman
I had it going on—or so I thought. After surviving sixty-three months of pregnancy, countless sleepless nights, and 35,000+ diapers, this one-time control freak encountered God’s grace. And I’m here to encourage you to do the same! I love encouraging and inspiring moms to grow deeper in their walk and relationship with our Heavenly Father.

I’ve been married to my beloved, Davis, since 1986; our life has been a roller-coaster ride, with God at the controls. We have seven kids and let me tell you our family loves to laugh! I enjoy playing in the dirt, eating dark chocolate, and walking on the beach. I’m an author and speaker and I am passionate about helping moms not only survive motherhood, but draw near to the Father and thrive in motherhood.

I’m so glad you’re here.
Posted on: October 10, 2014, by : Rachael Carman