Paul was returning to Jerusalem at the end of his third and final missionary journey. By this time in his ministry, Paul had been a Christian for nearly twenty years. Twenty years since Jesus called Paul, “My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel” (Acts 9:15). Twenty years of faithful service, and now… “In every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me” (Acts 20:23).
Paul was returning home, but his life was not going to be easy. He knew there were many trials ahead, but his life had a purpose far beyond his immediate surroundings.
“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
It was several more years before Paul wrote, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:12); yet here, when facing certain hardship, Paul showed he had already learned the secret. The particular circumstances in Paul’s life had become of minor importance. He knew his contentment was not based on current events, but on bringing glory and honor to God. His life had a wonderful purpose even in the face of great adversity and harsh conditions.
We were all created for the same purpose as Paul – we were created to bring glory and honor to God! Our specific tasks may differ and change from time to time, but we each have the same unchanging purpose. Everything we do, say, and think should bring glory and honor to our Heavenly Father!
God’s race is run in the deepest part of our heart, not in the flurry of activity. Running well is not defined by doing more; rather, we run a “successful” race as we do every little task we are given with the complete and absolute devotion of our heart.
His race is long and often difficult. There are many distractions which seek to slow us down and even pull us from the track, and at times we may even wonder why we are running. But being a participant in God’s eternal race is infinitely more rewarding than standing on the sidelines and simply watching! He has called us to run – and to run well!!
We must run the path God places before us with all the strength He provides, and within the sure and calming protection of His grace. Let’s run with the motivation of bringing Him glory and honor by loving Him with ALL our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Let’s continue to run well, and with a burning desire to finish the race.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Dec 13 Obadiah 1:1-21; Revelation 4:1-11; Psalm 132:1-18; Proverbs 29:24-25
Dec 14 Jonah 1:1-4:11; Revelation 5:1-14; Psalm 133:1-3; Proverbs 29:26-27
Dec 15 Micah 1:1-4:13; Revelation 6:1-17; Psalm 134:1-3; Proverbs 30:1-4
Dec 16 Micah 5:1-7:20; Revelation 7:1-17; Psalm 135:1-21; Proverbs 30:5-6