A Life of Account

“But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24 NASB
In Acts Chapter 20, we find Paul on his third missionary journey, heading toward Jerusalem.
In verses 2 and 3 we read of yet another plot to kill Paul. Despite opposition Paul always pressed on.
I have always read the story of Eutychus, with a bit of humor – reminding myself, to pay attention during sermons – sleeping can be dangerous!
Paul’s encounter with the Ephesian elders in Chapter 20 is one of the most moving passages of scripture.  Paul knew he would probably not see them again after years of ministry together.
You can feel the passion and care for one other as you read through Paul’s final speech to the elders of the church at Ephesus – one of the seven churches listed in Revelation 2.
There are two verses in this chapter that really hit home for me.
“But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24 NASB
In summarizing his life’s journey, for Paul, it was always about serving the Lord. Paul was focused on finishing the course, serving in the ministry he was called to and sharing the gospel with consistency and intentionality.
It seems we tend to get stalled along the way at times, forgetting the big picture, focusing on the small stuff, instead of what really matters – serving Jesus. We lose all sense of intentionality, going with the flow, forgetting our purpose.
We can go months, maybe even years stuck in idle. Like Paul, we need to stay the course, moving in the right direction with purpose and intentionality.
“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers…” Acts 20:28 NASB
How is my own relationship with God?  Am I growing? These are questions I ask myself when thinking through this passage. We cannot care for others if we ourselves are straying from the path.
How many times have we had opportunity to serve in some way but fall short because we can barely take care of our own spiritual lives? That secret sin that prevents us from growing closer to God, preventing us of a ministry opportunity?
God has placed people in all of our lives, our family, friends and others. Our flock, those God has given us to tend to. We must guard those folks as well as ourselves from the wolves that may come to attack.
I am always reminded when reading the writings of Paul and the Book of Acts that we want to finish strong.  Paul serves as a great model of one who finished strong and gave an account.
Until next time… keep reading!
Jim

One thought on “A Life of Account

  1. Jim,
    As I reflect on the past 45 years or so after I prayed the sinner’s prayer and was saved, I asked myself a similar question as yours: Am I growing spiritually? Am I able to lead others when I am tripped up at the starting line of my admission of my sin and the beginning of a spiritual journey? For about 10 years I could not open up to others. I was afraid of loosing all I had gained in the eyes of my spiritual leaders and my peers. I hid my addiction for years, not wanting to continue in my destructive live style yet not hating it and enjoying it during the moments of pleasure. Thirty years afterwards I was still caught in the cycle of “saved – not saved.”
    It wasn’t until the last three or four years that I faced a number of sins, brought them to the Cross and then SHARING those sins with a safe, and trustworthy friend. Now I am growing in my relationship with My Heavenly Father. Now I can share with others about the sin I was trapped in. No longer is Christ only my savior, he is my Lord and Savior. I am now able to put aside the doubts and fears of “saved, not saved”. Yes, I daily must go to the Lord for forgiveness but I can come boldly before God with my advocate, Christ Jesus, and ask for forgiveness.
    Now I look at fellow believers and can’t imagine what heaven will be like. Now I can share the gospel with my students, both covertly and overtly. I have the confidence to represent my Lord and proclaim the Good News.

    Thanks for listening,
    Riduan

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