Tuesday, July 18 – Acts 20:22-24
“And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that chains and afflictions await 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 God’s grace.”
When entering a situation where we know we will encounter difficulty or pushback, many of us become resistant or more alert. The threat of something bad happening or someone rejecting us deters us from sharing our faith, yet Paul received testimony from the Holy Spirit—not the enemy—that difficulty awaited him. How was Paul able to press on?
The key is in verse 24: Paul considered his life nothing to him apart from the mission set for him by Jesus. He was called to share the gospel of God’s grace with others. That mission wasn’t exclusive to Paul, as we have all been called to testify of God’s grace. In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus said, “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This is the Great Commission of all who follow Jesus. Christians today share in this legacy. When the gospel that has transformed us becomes the central theme in our lives, we join with Paul and say, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20). That means our way of handling difficulty is different, what we share with people is different, and how we treat people is marked by the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We live as transformed people, sharing about the grace given to us, no matter what comes our way.
- How do you react when you anticipate pushback?
- Is the Great Commission central in your life? What evidence from your life supports your answer?
- Pray and ask God to help you make the Great Commission central in your life. Ask Him to show you who you can share the Gospel with this week.