If Only I May Complete My Course

Acts 21:10-14 ESV

“While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, ‘Thus says the Holy Spirit, “This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.”’

“When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, ‘What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’ And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, ‘Let the will of the Lord be done.’”

Let’s back up a little here and go back to Acts 20:22-28 ESV:

“And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

“And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”

The Apostle Paul was a man of God who was committed to following Jesus Christ wherever he led him, even if it meant being persecuted and put to death for his walk of faith and for his testimony for Jesus Christ and for the gospel. And I love his testimony here where he said,

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

That is a wonderful and godly attitude to have, which is what we are all called to do, to die to self and to self-will, and to surrender our lives and our future over to the Lord Jesus Christ to be used of him for his glory, and to share in the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Our lives should be committed to the Lord to whatever his will is for our lives, whether he chooses life or death for us.

And we should all be committed to the task of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others so that they can be delivered from their slavery to sin and walk in holiness and in obedience to our Lord, in the power of God, so that they can have eternal life in him. And we should be committed to this task until the very end of our lives.

And we should be able, by the grace of God, to share Paul’s testimony that we are innocent of the blood of all if indeed we did not shrink from declaring to the people of this world the whole counsel of God (no diluted and altered gospel messages). And the whole counsel of God is the full gospel message that says if we want to come after Christ that we must deny self, die daily to sin and to self, and follow Jesus in obedience to his commands.

And it teaches us that not only that we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that we must walk in obedience to his commands (New Covenant), in righteousness and holiness. But if we don’t do those things, but we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, making sin our practice, we don’t know God and he doesn’t know us and we are not born of God and so we will not enter into God’s eternal kingdom.

And we don’t have to be overseers to care for our Lord’s sheep, his flock. There are plenty of Scriptures which teach us sheep that we are to care for and minister to and encourage, exhort and urge one another in Christ and in our walks of faith in holiness and righteousness. And that we are to speak the truth in love to one another and exhort one another so that we don’t fall back into sin, and so that we follow our Lord in obedience.

But now when we take our Lord seriously, and our lives are committed to him, and so we are following him in obedience, and we are sharing the whole counsel of God (the full gospel message) with others so that they can be rescued from their sins and walk in holiness, we should expect that we are going to be opposed, and that we will be persecuted, and this may even result in our deaths. But God is sovereign over our lives, and he will be with us through whatever he, in his sovereign will, allows to happen to us.

So, all glory and praise belong to the Lord. May his will be done in each one of our lives, and may we follow him wherever he leads us no matter the cost to us personally, in order that he might be glorified in and through our lives, and that our lives might have an impact on others for their salvation.

I Take Refuge

An Original Work / September 1, 2018
Based off Psalm 71

O, Lord, I take refuge in You,
For You are my God.
Turn Your ear now to me.

Be my Rock and Fortress
To which I do go.
Deliver me, God. You’re my hope.

My lips now give praise to You, God.
I always have hope,
Since You saved me from sin.

My enemies speak evil
‘gainst me, O God.
Oh, help me, O Lord, rescue me.

The path of my life has been hard.
For, I have had troubles
Too many to bear.

But You will increase honor,
Restore again.
Your faithfulness, Lord, comforts me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s