None of these things move me...





Acts 20:24:  But, none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself so that I may finish my race with Joy, and the ministry, which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. * Note 1

The apostle Paul knew from more than one prophecy and from the Holy Spirit telling him directly that he'd soon be coming into serious problems; i.e. bonds (arrest) and afflictions awaited him in Jerusalem. But he says in verse 24 that he's not moved.  Not moved and doesn't even count his life important. In other words, he doesn't care what happens to him as long as he finishes his race, spreading the good news of God's great mercy and grace of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Psalms 16:8 the Psalmist said, "I have set the Lord always before my face,
because the Lord is at my right hand. I shall not be moved." 


On the surface, at first glance when reading the scriptures, I could, and in fact have said on more than one occasion, the same thing and really mean it. I agree with Paul and David above and say boldly, "I'm not moved by life's events and I don't count my life dear to myself."

However, in these past weeks, Jesus is showing me through a series of trials and affliction in the midst of events that frankly don't even begin to make sense, that I really don't  mean what I say.  In fact, I've found that I'm disturbed, moved by the least disruption and I certainly do count my life most dear to myself and I've been more interested in serving my own agenda, but only paying lip service to the ministry which God had commissioned me with. 

Before the heat was turned up in this furnace of affliction (refer to my blog: "Finding Christians in the Furnace of Affliction." ) I can say whatever the saints have said in the scriptures and really mean it.  But the way of the cross doesn't work like this as the saints know very well by experience. Yes, once we commit, totally to follow our Lord Jesus,  God is surely to begin refining and pruning every superfluous, detracting, hindrance, and sinful thing in our life until we are spotless before him. Through Jesus Christ we are justified by faith, but the sanctification process is a journey we find most painful at times.

Thank you for the cross Lord.  


Prayer:  Dear Heavenly Father, by your great grace I pray you empower me through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit to go through the sanctification process and may I be able to say "None of these things move me and that my life is not counted dear to myself. All in absolute service to you my Lord, for your glory. Amen. 


Note 1: Move me - Alarm me, or deter me from my purpose. Greek: "I make an account of none of them." I do not regard them as of any moment, or as worth consideration in the great purpose to which I have devoted my life.
Neither count I my life - I do not consider my life as so valuable as to be retained by turning away from bonds and persecutions. I am certain of bonds and afflictions; I am willing also, if it be necessary, to lay down my life in the prosecution of the same purpose.
Dear unto myself - So precious or valuable as to be retained at the sacrifice of duty. I am willing to sacrifice it if it be necessary. This was the spirit of the Saviour, and of all the early Christians. Duty is of more importance than life; and when either duty or life is to be sacrificed, life is to be cheerfully surrendered.
So that - This is my main object, to finish my course with joy. It is implied here:
1) That this was the great purpose which Paul had in view.
(2) that if he should even lay down his life in this cause, it would be a finishing his course with joy. In the faithful discharge of duty, he had nothing to fear. Life would be ended with peace whenever God should require him to finish his course.
Finish my course - Close my career as an apostle and a Christian. Life is thus represented as a course, or race that is to be run, 2 Timothy 4:7Hebrews 12:11 Corinthians 9:24Acts 13:25.
With joy - With the approbation of conscience and of God, with peace in the recollection of the past. Man should strive so to live that he will have nothing to regret when he lies on a bed of death. It is a glorious privilege to finish life with joy. It is most sad when the last hours are embittered with the reflection that life has been wasted. The only way in which life may be finished with joy is by meeting faithfully every duty, and encountering, as Paul did, every trial, with a constant desire to glorify God.
And the ministry - That I may fully discharge the duty of the apostolic office, the preaching of the gospel. In 2 Timothy 4:5, he charges Timothy to make full proof of his ministry. He here shows that this was the ruling principle of his own life.
Which I have received of the Lord Jesus - Which the Lord Jesus has committed to me, Acts 9:15-17. Paul regarded his ministry as an office entrusted to him by the Lord Jesus himself. On this account he deemed it to be especially sacred, and of high authority, Galatians 1:12. Every minister has been entrusted with an office by the Lord Jesus. He is not his own; and his great aim should be to discharge fully and entirely the duties of that office.
To testify the gospel - To bear witness to the good news of the favor of God. This is the great design of the ministry. It is to bear witness to a dying world of the good news that God is merciful, and that his favor may be made manifest to sinners. From this verse we may learn:
(1) That we all have a course to run, a duty to perform. Ministers have an allotted duty; and so have men in all ranks and professions.
(2) we should not be deterred by danger, or the fear of death, from the discharge of that duty. We are safe only when we are doing the will of God. We are really in danger only when we neglect our duty, and make the great God our enemy.
(3) we should so live as that the end of our course may be joy. It is, at best, a solemn thing to die; but death may be a scene of triumph and of joy.

 (Source: Biblos.com)

Comments

  1. And that is the fine line we walk and the challenge we face that we are in the world but not of it. I go into the world every day at my job and I do like my job. Our life as a sold out Christian (bondservant) is a "discipline" and that is why we are "disciples." Ever learning the discipline of denying ourselves, but at the same time God said "His grace is sufficient" when we fall short.

    Jhn 15:5 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

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  2. "We are safe only when we are doing the will of God. We are really in danger only when we neglect our duty . . ."

    Absolutely. When I get slightly off track, I run into brick walls. The pruning process by the Lord is painful, but it is the only way we really learn. We can read about dying to self, but looking at a cross and living the cross are two different things. Pain is a harsh schoolmaster, but the Lord does give us strength to see us through difficult times.

    That is a very good picture of a ship in the midst of a storm in the high seas. Peter DID walk on the water for a short while, but then he took his eyes off of Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and began to sink. The Lord puts us in trying situations, so that we can trust in Him even more.

    I must decrease, He must increase.

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  3. Believe I shall hold onto this phrase: "We are safe only when we are doing the will of God and in danger only when we neglect our duty."
    Amen.

    ReplyDelete

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