Many years ago I worked in the Auto Industry as a quality technician. I was responsible in all areas of the production of engine valves for the major vehicle manufacturing companies. From the time that metals would arrive at the goods inward holding areas, through various processes of friction welding; hardening and tempering; centre less grinding; and induction hardening, and ultra violet crack detection, only to name a few. The items were inspected, and tested; the policy was to get it right first time as repeated flaws can be very costly the more processes the items go through the less are scrapped. So continued tests were carried out at all stages of the production. The testing was divided into two major sections. Destructive, and non destructive testing. Without going into too much detail, destructive testing destroyed the product. While dimensional checks, micro finishes, and hardness checks did not destroy the product. Periodically inspectors from these various companies would visit, and perform their own independent tests on the products (Known as Standard Quality Assurance).
This life on earth is a wonderful opportunity for us to become more like our Father in heaven, perfected, and glorified. This earth life is a severe non destructive test. Jesus Christ the Son of God was tested in the same way that we are now. At the end of our earth life we will have a review. We will see what we have become. (What I will be tomorrow I am now becoming) If we were able to prove ourselves. Our spec of what we should be will be measured from the scriptures.
Although the Saviour is not with is now in person we have a living prophet on the earth, Matthew Gill. He is a great aid sent by the Lord to assist us in our efforts in our work towards salvation. Paul in the New Testament had no easy life, and is yet another great example to us all.
The life and work of the great apostle Paul is recorded at considerable length in the Acts and the epistles. It is only possible to indicate here a few of the chief facts. Paul was known in early life as Saul; his Latin name Paul is first mentioned at the beginning of his gentile ministry in (Acts 13:9). He belonged to
Tarsus, in Cilicia (Acts 9:11); was a Pharisee and a pupil of
Gamaliel (Acts 22:3); was active in the persecution of Christians (Acts 8:3;
26:10; Gal. 1:13; Philip. 3:6); and took part in the martyrdom of Stephen.
(Acts 7:58; 8:1). He started for Damascus for the purpose of further
persecution of the Christians (Acts 9:1) and on the road saw a vision of the
Lord Jesus, which changed the whole current of his life (Acts 9:4–19; 22:7;
26:14; Gal. 1:15–16). After his baptism by Ananias (Acts 9:18), he retired into
Arabia (Gal. 1:17), and then returned to ,
where he preached (Acts 9:19–25; 2 Cor. 11:32; Gal. 1:17–18). Being compelled
to flee, about three years after his conversion he went to Jerusalem, where he
stayed 15 days, Barnabas introducing him to Peter and James (Acts 9:26–30; Gal.
1:18–19). Being in danger, he retired to Damascus Tarsus
(Acts 9:29–30) and there remained six or seven years, preaching in Syria and Cilicia
(Gal. 1:21–24). He was then brought by Barnabas to Antioch
(Acts 11:26), and after one year paid a visit to (Acts 11:29–30). After two more
years' work in Jerusalem ,
he started with Barnabas and Mark on his first missionary journey (Acts
13:1—14:26). Then came another visit to Antioch Jerusalem
with Barnabas to attend a conference with the other apostles (Acts 15:1–33;
Gal. 2:1–10), after which they returned to (Acts 15:35). He then started on his
second missionary journey (Acts 15:36—18:22), which lasted about three years,
and ended with a visit to Antioch .
After a short stay in Jerusalem ,
Paul began his third journey, which occupied about 3½ years (Acts 18:23—21:15).
On his return to Antioch Jerusalem he was arrested and
sent to Caesarea (Acts 21:17—23:35), where he remained a prisoner for two years
(Acts 24:1—26:32), and was then sent for trial to , suffering shipwreck on the way (Acts
27:1—28:10). He remained in Rome
two years (Acts 28:30) and was then released. He then appears to have visited
Asia, Rome Macedonia, Crete, and
At the end of about four years he was again taken a prisoner to Spain , and suffered
martyrdom, probably in the spring of A.D. 65. Rome
I hope that we all learn from the lesson of Paul and also from our own lives that we are all being tested in the quality control room of our Father and it is up to us to make sure that we live up to the tests put upon us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Peter Barber