In my Bible study today, Mission 119 by Pastor John Stoper of the Christian Missionary Alliance. he talked about the Apostle Paul and his tenacity. If you don’t know, Paul actually persecuted Christians until one day, when he was in the road to Damascus, the Holy Spirit got ahold of him and asked, “why are you persecuting me?” This life-changing encounter with the God of Creation was enough to not only make a change in his life, but inspired him to preach the Gospel all over the place. When Paul was imprisoned for spreading the Gospel, he became more empassioned to do it.
John Stoper refereed to Paul as a “bulldog”… and he shared a little known fact about bulldogs…. their noses are smashed so that they can still breathe when they are holding on to something with their teeth that they don’t want to let go of. Tenacity. Perseverance. Stick-to-it-iveness.
It made me think of a time at work, years ago, when a co-worker called me a bulldog. Tenacious. Persevering. My boss told me I had “stick-to-it-iveness”. I had worked on several project (really a complete culture change) that were painful to implement, and was criticized by many but kept my passion because I believed so intently it was the right thing to do. I was, in fact, a bulldog. I found it a compliment to be called a bulldog. She gave me a little jar with a bulldog on it… I keep pens and pencils in it. It makes me smile every time I see it. (Ironically, it was that bulldogedness that earned the respect from my now-business partner, but that’s a story for another day)
Who wouldn’t want to be a bulldog?
I’ve read the New Testament many times and have been aware that Paul was imorisoned for his faith but kept preaching the Gospel anyway. Somehow, though, it always seemed far away until this Bible study… and I realized that Paul was a human being, with human feelings and limitations just like you and me. He had a tenacity about him that gave him the courage to keep on going despite his obstacles. He was, indeed, a bulldog.
I have a newfound respect for Paul now that I see his sincere tenacity motivated by the change he experienced once the Holy Spirit got ahold of him. it encourages me to continue to be a bulldog for the passions I have, knowing Christ Jesus as my Savior.
Be a bulldog today, my friends!