People who succeed have a clear vision, a burning desire, and inner confidence. They keep looking for better ways to reach their goal. They often have a role model who acts as a mentor. When we reflect on the success of Paul in planting the Gospel in the Roman world, we see a man possessed to get the job done. The book of Acts records him taking three mission trips plus a journey to Rome. He describes his exploits in 2 Corinthians chapter 11: “Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas … I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.” Today, few people persist like the Apostle Paul, yet he can be a model for us when we are tempted to give or quit.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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