Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might ﬁnish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Paul had a call from God. At the time of his salvation, God already willed in His plan to use Paul for an important mission unrevealed in the Old Testament: that of adding the Gentiles to the church of God. It was to be difﬁcult to break new ground and change the mindsets of the Jews. Paul was to go through terrible hardships and persecution to get things done. He was going to be scourged, misunderstood, betrayed, whipped, beaten, imprisoned, and starved for the will of God to be done. He was preparing himself to go to Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit had already shown him that there was imprisonment. What then made Paul determined to go to Jerusalem even though he would experience persecution?
HE DECIDED NOT TO LIVE BY THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT HE SAW AROUND HIM
But none of these things move me…
When we look at the circumstances around us, we experience fear and anxiety because our sight, being based on the ﬂesh, always leads to the wrong conclusion. When Peter saw the waves around him, he sank into the waters. When Elisha’s servant saw the armies of Syria, he panicked. When the disciples of Christ saw the ﬁve loaves and two ﬁshes, they asked what were they to so many people? Sight causes fear. Paul already decided that he would not live by the things that he saw because he knew that sight will deceive him.
HE DECIDED TO CONSIDER HIS LIFE AND AMBITIONS TOTALLY UNIMPORTANT TO HIM
Neither count I my life dear unto myself …
What is dearer to a man than his own life? People will do all they can to defend their lives and possessions. They will do all they can to achieve their own goals. Paul already counted his life as unimportant and nor dear to himself. When we decide that even what we want is not as important as the mission before us, we will be determined to ﬁnish the course God sets for us.
HE DECIDED TO DO AND TO COMPLETE THE WILL OF CHRIST FOR HIS LIFE
So that I might ﬁnish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Paul’s primary aim in life was to do the will of God and to ﬁnish it. His every motive, every effort and every moment of time was given to the achieving of Christ’s will for his life and ﬁnishing it. His goal was not merely to complete the ministry but also to ﬁnish it with joy.
Our Saviour was faithful to us in completing the Father’s will for Him that He might save us from eternal death. He told us to be faithful to Him to do His will in the local church and in our lives. Christians, let the love of Christ constrain us and let it cause us to complete the will of God for our lives with joy.
Let us ﬁnish the course for 2011!
Evangelist-Pastor Johnny Tan
Ambassador Baptist Church