Finish my course and ministry!
Scripture reading for May 11th: 1st Samuel 30-31, 1st Chronicles 10, Acts 20
Acts 20: 18-24 “”You know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 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””
Paul, whose Jewish name was “Saul”, sought to live fully for our Lord Jesus after an early life of opposing God. He did not value his own life as precious, but his only desire and focus was to finish the course of ministry and testify to the Gospel of God’s grace. He admonished the elders at Ephesus to live in a like manner and to watch over God’s flock. He warned them of vicious wolves, some coming from their own congregation and leadership, who would have selfish motives and seek to tear apart God’s church. In contrast, King Saul, whose life is chronicled in 1st Samuel and Chronicles, died because he failed to trust God and obey Him and he also went to a medium to seek guidance instead of God. His finish was a disaster and bad example.
Acts 20:26-30 “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. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”
Prayer: Father God, I desire to finish my course well and bring glory to Your Name. Help me, as an elder, to live a life worthy of Jesus Christ, being unselfish and fully preaching the whole counsel of God. Make me alert to my own soul and alert me to dangers and forces of darkness that would hinder my finish or destroy members of Your blood-bought Body, the Church.
1st Chronicles 10:13-14 “So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.”