If you want to see what the Gospel can do to a person’s life think of the story of St Paul. Has there ever been a greater turn around than his? I do not know and I do not care! All I know is that in the witness of the life of St Paul there is enough to inspire all of us to greater deeds of faith for the sake of the Kingdom of God. The turnaround that we see in the life of this man is nothing short of a miracle. About the only thing Paul had going for him from a Christian point of view was an incredible desire and zeal to do the will of God. It is just that initially this zeal was very misdirected.

For those of us who have not had the same sort of drama associated with our conversion, this does not mean our conversion to Jesus is any less authentic or worthy of praise. God works with each of us as individuals precisely in the way that will be best for us. What is key, critical to the ongoing process of conversion, is that we never lose the desire to be obedient to God’s call. God will continue to call each of us every day of our lives. He will call us to conversion and service of the Gospel until the day we die. You will never be on holiday from your faith if you remain obedient to God’s call!

Paul’s life is all the more extraordinary when we consider the amount of suffering he endured for the Gospel, beatings, stoning, shipwreck, persecution, wild animals etc. Nothing could stop the man from being obedient to God’s call! This is what the Church needs today to combat the powerful forces of secularism and materialism. As Christians today we need to be willing to stand up and fight against those philosophies that downplay the dignity of human life in order to exalt individualism and wealth. The prosperity gospel as proclaimed in so many Protestant settings, and even some Catholic ones, is an abomination to the Gospel of Christ!

Have I fallen for the prosperity gospel line of associating wealth with faithfulness to God?

Father, help me to realise that faithfulness and obedience to you are rewarded in the gift of eternal life. Yes, I may have wealth here on earth but I reject any focus upon it as it is passing away and has nothing to do with eternal life with you.