I was reading this passage in the ESV, and this translation struck me,
Paul was occupied with the word…
What does that mean, “occupied with the Word.”
Well, it doesn’t mean that he was simply holed up in his house reading God’s Word. Rather, he was “testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.”
Which is why the CSB translates the verse this way,
Paul devoted himself to preaching the word.
That word, “occupied,” or “devoted,” is the same word that is used when Paul himself would say this,
For the love of Christ compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If one died for all, then all died. And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised. (2 Corinthians 5:14)
How often can these words be used of us when it comes to God’s word?
How much does the reading and sharing of God’s word with others occupy our time and thoughts?
How much are we devoted to the reading and sharing of God’s word?
How much do we even feel compelled to do these things? Not simply because it is the “Christian thing to do.” But because Christ’s love for us drives us to do so. Because his love causes us to live no longer for ourselves but for him and his kingdom.
How about you? What place does God’s word have in your life?