dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy,
and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus,
to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Acts 20:24, NKJV
What in life moves you? Do trials and circumstances, opinions of others, fears and insecurities? Paul’s statement above is amazing in the backdrop of his life’s portrait painted in Scripture:
“From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness…” (2 Corinthians 11:24-27)
Paul is able to state that none of these things moved him from finishing the race with joy. How did he do it? The answer is in the seven profound words, “nor do I count my life dear.” Paul had died to his own will and was committed to living for Christ. He had found the freedom in chains, the liberty in servitude and the life in death to self.
It is only when you relinquish your life completely to God that you are safe from the faith-shattering experiences of living in a fallen world.
QUESTION: If we were able to let go of our lives for the sake of Christ, how would that change the world around us?