Acts 20:17-34; Judges 14-15; Job 42
What does the future hold? We would all like to know the answer to that question. Tell me what stock will be valuable in ten years, I’ll buy it now. Tell me who will be president in twenty years, I’ll make friends with him or her now. It would be so easy to make preparations to insure that we are well off if we could know the future. Paul was compelled to go back and testify in Jerusalem. He had a glimpse of the future. “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:23-24) His vision of the future was a warning of the hardships ahead. Knowing that he would face hardships, he continued. Knowing that he would be imprisoned, he went forward. He had one goal in life and it didn’t matter to him what he went through to testify to the good news of God’s grace. I don’t know how well I would react if I knew that following Christ would lead to hardship and/or imprisonment. I haven’t had to face the persecution that my brothers and sisters in other parts of the world have faced. I would hope and pray, though, that I would finish the race and complete the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace no matter what the future might hold.
Lord God, I live in a time and a place where it seems like the gospel is designed to provide great material benefits. It’s easy to become so enamored of those riches that I lose sight of You. Remind me that everything I do should point to the one job that You have given me to do. Let my words and my actions testify to Your grace.