as readers, we have been following paul's journey as he shares the gospel with jews and gentiles, rich and poor, women and men, educated and uneducated...etc.
you know how things can kind of stalk you? ex. a song lyric you can't get out of your head, an idea that you MUST carry out in order to get it off of your mind, or maybe a truth from a sermon that just keeps rolling around in your head and heart...
the truth from Acts that is stalking me is this..
paul had many relationships and conversations on his journey. he comes into contact with believers and unbelievers. with his believing friends, he encourages them in their journey with Christ..encouraging movement toward knowing Christ and spreading His word to others. with his unbelieving friends, he shares about the fulfillment of the law in the person of Jesus...He spreads the Gospel message to all who have ears. His life is about that..his mission is about that...he loses friends, his plans get thrwarted, he is faced with people who don't like him because of what he professes, he is even flogged for things he didn't even do...but still...paul is about the business of Christ.
now I know the bible doesn't tell us everything that every disciple did or said, and I know that paul was not a perfect man..after all, he is the one that is famous for the "do, do" passage in scripture. (Romans 7:19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me)
but it is clear that there wasn't a lot of fluff in paul's life...wasn't a lot of coasting friendships in Jerusalem...wasn't a ton of complaining when things didn't turn out how he'd hoped...wasn't a ton of whining when he was flogged without reason...
Paul had a single purpose and he didn't seem to lose sight of his mission. The Lord used him to bring Himself glory even to the ends of the earth.