Living well–finishing well!

Scripture reading for February 20th: Acts 20, Psalm 36, Proverbs 5

Acts 20: 18-24 “And when they came to him, he said to them: “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day 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 count 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 had called together the Ephesian Church elders that he had lived among for nearly two years. His time to depart had come and he reminded them of how to live by recounting his own life experience of trials, testing, suffering and humble proclamation of the Gospel. He had fully declared the truth to all in Asia, through public meetings and in small groups from house to house. He was leaving for Jerusalem, knowing through the Spirit that trials and afflictions were in his future. But his own life or circumstances was not his major concern. His focus was on completing the course of ministry laid out for him by God, testifying to the grace of God in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! He played for an audience of One!

Psalm 36:10-11 “Oh, continue Your steadfast love to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright of heart! Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.”

Prayer: Father God, You are the great Watcher of all mankind. Your eyes watch each person run their race of faith here on earth. You lay out a course for Your people and take them through trials, tests, and ministry opportunities. Help me through the Holy Spirit to stay humbly focused on the tasks You provide each day and today. Let not pride or arrogance lead me astray. Let me finish my course with Your grace!

Proverbs 5:21 “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.”

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