Letter To Our Children

by Pastor Joe | January 26, 2022 | Letters To Our Children


January 26, 2022

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.


2 Timothy 4:7


Hello Friends,


Each year either for Christmas, my Birthday, or Father's Day, my son Jared gifts me a biography written about a person whom he thinks would be good for me to know. He is a wonderful gift-giver, and his books never disappoint. Last year’s book was, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character. Mr. Feynman’s full name is Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.


Biographies are helpful. They can help us understand ourselves, others, and the world much better. The Bible is full of quite a few mini-biographies. For example, the Apostle Paul.


Paul was born in Tarsus to Jewish parents, who named him Saul. Saul was a Jewish name, but Paul's father was also a Roman citizen. This made Saul a Roman citizen too. His citizenship would serve him well later in life.


Like all Jewish boys, Saul went to the synagogue school. His teachers soon realized he was a very gifted student and recommended his parents send him to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem was a very famous rabbi named Gamaliel. Saul would sit under Gamaliel’s instruction, study the Old Testament scriptures, and worship God in the temple.


The time would come when Saul learned about people called Christians, who said that Jesus was the Messiah. He became angry because he didn't believe them. When a man named Stephen was put to death for preaching the Gospel, Saul was glad.


However, nothing could stop the gospel from advancing—not death, not persecution, not imprisonment. At that point, Saul wanted to do something about it. He received permission to go to other cities to harass and arrest Christians. He was given soldiers to help him and had the authority of the high priest to do what he did. But God had other plans.


Around 35 AD, on his way to Damascus, Saul had a face-to-face encounter with the risen Christ; and became a Christian. At first, Christians Paul had been persecuting didn't believe he had been converted and were afraid of him. But in time and with the help of some good friends, they realized that God had changed Saul.


Sometime after his conversion, Saul began using his Greek name, Paul. Probably the name the gentiles would understand better. In 46 AD, Paul would begin his first missionary journey. It started in the city of Antioch, then to the island of Cyprus, followed by many cities in Asia minor. In 50 AD, his second missionary journey started in Jerusalem. Going through Asia Minor, he went to many cities, in fact, more than before. Macedonia, Corinth, and Ephesus were a few of those cities. His third journey began in 52 AD, which in some ways was a reroute so that he could visit the churches that God had established through Paul city by city to teach and encourage them as well.


Paul's gospel missionary work was not easy. Jews in almost every city would hound, pound, arrest, and threaten him with death. Roman authorities and soldiers would hurt and persecute Paul just to keep Jewish leaders happy. But God was with Paul, and even though Paul went through sufferings that would break a thousand hearts, his work continued.


The final journey Paul would take was one he did not plan. In 57 AD he was arrested in Jerusalem by the Jewish leaders. They took him to the Roman officials, who put Paul in prison for several years. However, because he was a Roman citizen, Paul would go to Rome. In a Roman prison cell, Paul would write letters to some of the young churches he had established. In those letters, he explained Christian doctrine and encouraged them with that same doctrine. Finally, emperor Nero, who hated Christians, had Paul put to death. But not before God had used Paul to spread the gospel to just about every part of the Roman Empire in just 20 years.


His, by God’s grace, was a life well-lived. Even as I think about it, rarely a day goes by when I do not read something Paul wrote from God’s word, the Bible. Amazing!



God bless you this week!


Pastor Joe

P.S. Have you read any good biographies lately?