Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13
As the apostle Paul traveled throughout the Roman Empire, we learn from Scripture that he was frequently accused of being crazy. People heard his testimony of his remarkable experience on the Damascus road. They saw his dedication and his commitment to life, which took him away from comforts and pleasures, and they said he was crazy. In fact, Festus, a Roman governor in the book of Acts, said to Paul’s face one day, You are out of your mind, Paul! . . . Your great learning is driving you insane (Acts 26:24).
“Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships, and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on (2 Corinthians 6:4-8a).
Is that fanaticism? The great English preacher Charles Spurgeon, who, when he was told that Paul’s conversion on the Damascus road was really caused by a fit of epilepsy, said, “Oh, blessed epilepsy! Would that every man in London could experience epilepsy like that! So if this is fanaticism, then I say, Would that every one of us were fanatics like this! What a magnificent description of a God-honoring life! What a marvelous pattern is held before us.”
Following Jesus is a comprehensive, calling. Jonathan Edwards wrote: The first and the great work of a Christian is about his heart. Do not be content with seeming to do good in “outward acts” while your heart is bad, and you are a stranger to the greater internal heart duties. See that your chief study be about your heart– that there God’s image may be planted; that there His interests be advanced; that there the world and flesh are subdued; that there the love of every sin is cast out; that there the love of holiness grows.