Tuesday, 10 August 2021
“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life 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
Paul’s life is one which all of us need to emulate: He knew who called him and his mission, that nothing deterred him from completing what was entrusted to him. Wherever he went he preached the gospel—be it on the river bank, the synagogues or even in prison. How about us?
What made Paul different from us?
Lived a selfless life
Acts 20:19 and the key verse focus on how Paul did not love his life more than the Lord. He was not offended by the way the Jews treated him. He did not let offence and hatred build up in his heart, nor hold a grudge against them. Today very often God is unable to use many of us because we are offended by a fellow brother or sister. In Genesis we see Joseph displaying kindness to his brothers who had harmed him because he saw God’s Master plan in all his misery. Paul too learnt this early in his Christian life and so declared in Gal. 2:20 – “Its no longer I but Christ.” Thus he was able to engage others with the gospel. Only then can we be effective witnesses for God. The Christian History books are filled with such lives. Today God expects this from us, but are we willing to let our “self “ die, so He could live through us?
Spoke the truth in its entirety
Acts 20:20&27 clearly states that Paul declared God’s word completely withholding nothing back. Throughout the life of Paul, we see him spending months and years in certain places just to teach the word of God. He knew as Acts 20:32 says that only the word is able to build us and give us an inheritance among the sanctified. In today’s world when sin is being justified, how can you and I counter it?
John 8:31, 32 says that when we hold on to Jesus’ teachings we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. Knowing this, Paul calls God’s word ‘A Sword’, because only this Sword can cut us free from every lie of the devil and bring the sinner to the Savior. All church leaders and each of us need to be truth agents speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Many will hate us for declaring it, but a remnant will hear it and receive it and God will transfer them from the clutches of Satan and this world into His Kingdom. (Col. 1:13)
Labored for his livelihood
Paul not only preached with clarity, he also worked hard to provide for his daily needs for and those with him. (Acts 20:34) It's out of this life of Paul we have “Tentmakers” – where we see Christians who have dedicated themselves to the ministry of the gospel receive little or no pay for the work but do other jobs to provide for themselves. Paul as a tentmaker used this opportunity to preach the gospel and teach Christians how to follow Jesus in their homes and in their profession. Today God is calling each of us into the marketplace where many are yet to hear the gospel. The reason God has placed us in secular fields, is for us to evangelize our co-workers. When missionaries cannot penetrate corporate offices, factories and schools, we are placed strategically to be models for Christ to new believers and unbelievers. May each of us reflect Christ in our excellence in work, in integrity and in character.
Will we partner with God to reach the world of our influence for Him?
Quote for the Day:
“Being Missional means actually doing mission right where you are “ ~Ed Stetzer
Listen: 'Carry Your Candle’