“Now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem.
What will happen to me there I do not know,
except that in one city after another
the Holy Spirit has been warning me
that imprisonment and hardships await me.
Yet I consider life of no importance to me,
if only I may finish my course
and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,
to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:22-24)
St. Paul was famous for his “finish line” analogy. He knew that Jesus was the finish line and that nothing else in life mattered except grasping the prize: eternal life in Christ. He also knew that the way would be perilous. He had escaped death many times over and he knew that death was waiting for him, that his “luck” would run out sooner or later. None of that bothered him, however, because he did not value life on this earth. He valued life with the Lord.
That is a radical concept. So many people value their lives here on earth, way too much. Oh, sure, life is precious. It is not something that should be considered meaningless. It has great value. But it does not have eternal value.
Our lives on this earth are transitory. We are all born for one reason alone: to die. It is only in death that we have the opportunity to pass into eternal life.
Paul knew that. He knew it intimately. And he longed for the day that he would be able to be with the Lord.
How about you? Do you long for the Lord? Does your life reflect that? Or, are you more concerned with the things of this earth? I am not saying that you should seek death or discard all worldly items. I am just reminding you that your life, my life, our lives should be living witnesses to the Lord. If they are not, we need to do something about it — today.
FAITH ACTION: In prayer this day, think about how you can be a better witness to the Lord. Ask for His grace to remain steadfast.