One of the very first steps for us as a ministry was finding our “ministry verse.” After a few days of praying and searching, God laid Acts 20:24 on our hearts. We love this verse and the message behind it! However, in order to really understand the power of this message, let’s go back and read the verses that lead up to our ministry verse. Take a second and read Acts 20:17-23.
"But when we landed at Miletus, he sent a message to the elders of the church at Ephesus, asking them to come and meet him. When they arrived he declared, 'You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews. I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes. I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus. And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead.'"
These verses clearly show us that following Christ is not easy. Paul's example is one filled with many hardships and trials. His example is one that is also filled with how we should respond to the challenges we may face as a follower of Christ. In the midst of extreme challenges, Paul served humbly and with tears. He went through a lot of persecution and pain because of his faith and the way he boldly proclaimed the gospel. Did these challenges stop Paul? Of course not! He never quit and he never gave up. Paul continued to preach the gospel to the Jews and Greeks. In Acts 20:22-23, Paul shares that he has been compelled by the Spirit of God to go to Jerusalem to preach the gospel. At this point, Paul does not know what will happen to him there, but he does know that prison and hardships are awaiting him. However, it the promise of prison did not stop him from living out his mission.
Pause for a second and honestly answer this question. If you knew that you could be thrown into jail and face many hardships if you were to talk about Jesus and what He has done for you, would you still do it?
Paul’s answer to that question is found in our ministry verse. “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus- the work of telling others the good news about the wonderful grace of God.” (Acts 20:14) The message of salvation was so important and valuable to Paul that he could never miss an opportunity to share it. Paul considered his life worth absolutely nothing unless he was living to share the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul's tenacity got us thinking... How bold are we in sharing our faith? Do we share it every opportunity we get? Do we keep it to ourselves and hope no one asks about it? Are we afraid of what people will think if we talk about Jesus? Are we afraid that they might make fun of us? May we all let Paul's words sink deeply without our souls this week. He said that his life was worth NOTHING unless he used it to share the message of Jesus. May ours be the same. May we step out in faith and realize that the most important thing we can ever do is bring glory to God by boldly sharing how He has rescued us through Jesus.
Our prayer this week is that Paul's declaration would be ours as well. Would you pray this with us?
We love you! Thank You for Jesus. Thank You for sending Him to save us. Thank You that through Him we are seen as righteous in Your eyes. This week, may our eyes be open to the opportunities you place in our path to share the hope that we have in You. May we be bold and unashamed. May we operate only out of faith, not out of fear. Would you give us the words to say. Help us to live only for You!
In Jesus' Name,
P.s. If you have not yet entered into a relationship with Jesus and would like to, or if you have questions about who He is, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to talk with you!
Lots of love,
Leiah, Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx