Last night I met a man from Damascus and I was intrigued to learn more. He was proud to say he was from there but had moved and lived in the United Arab Emirates before coming to America. Not many people know where the UAE is, but interesting enough I have seen it on CNN and it borders Saudi Arabia. Amazing how God reveals things to you. This man was proud to be from Damascus, which is the capital of Syria and is known to some as the oldest city of the earth. What is so interesting to me about Damascus is that it is mentioned in the Bible, where Paul was converted.
Paul, formerly known as Saul, was a Roman that was on his way to Damascus to find disciples of the Lord so that he could bound them in Jerusalem. Jesus appeared into him in a bright light and asked him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Paul didn’t realize that what he was doing was against the son of God, Christ. He went on to be a great apostle for the Lord and wrote several books of the Bible.
Paul told the saints at Philippi that he counted all things dung, that he might win Christ (Philippians 3:8). He said to forget about things of the past and move forward toward the prize of the high calling of Christ (3:13,14). He didn’t care about riches or worldly possessions but his work for the ministry. He endured great afflictions on his quest to pursue the work of the ministry, such as: he was beaten, thrown in prison, shipwrecked, stoned, without food or water, naked, etc…
Even though Paul endured a lot on this earth, he continued doing the work of the Lord. He said, ” Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Definition-To Pursue: continue, advance or proceed along (a path, mission, route or course) without stopping; T
Philippians 3:8- Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Philippians 3:13,14-Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 11:23-27-Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Philippians 1:12- But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;