"That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God" (Rom. xv. 16).
This is a very beautiful and practical conception of missionary work. There is a great difference in being consecrated to our God. We may be consecrated to our work and consecrated to our God.
We may be consecrated and fitted to do missionary work, and utterly fail, if He should call us to do something different. But when we are consecrated to Him, we shall be ready for anything He may require of us, and be as well qualified to serve Him by the sick bed of a brother, or even in the secular duties of home, as in standing in the pulpit or leading a soul to Christ.
Paul's conception is holy work, or a special sacrifice, and directly unto Christ, and Christ alone; and he stood as one should stand at the altar of incense, lifting up with holy hands the Gentile nations unto God, and laying all his work like fragrant incense before the throne, pleased only with what would please his Master, and stand the test of His inspection, and the seal of His approval in that glorious day.
This is the spirit of true service.