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How Will I Count It?
3/11/2014

And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 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 to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:22-24 (NKJV)

For many people, the commitment to follow Jesus comes with the understanding that it will cost them their lives—not their physical lives, meaning they will die, but the way they previously lived their lives following the desires of their flesh.  But, can you imagine making a commitment to follow Jesus knowing you would be persecuted, beaten and imprisoned?  If you knew this is what absolutely awaited your decision, would you continue to take this path and be committed in finishing it?  This is what Paul chose even though he knew these things lay ahead on his path. Paul chose to say, But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself…”

Paul had made a decision within his heart and mind to give his life to God, and to allow it to be used for ministry. He willingly chose to lay down his own desires and life to be a follower of Jesus by being selfless, serving others, and sharing the gospel message.  Paul knew this was Jesus’ will for his life and he gladly did it.

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:25 (NKJV)

Q:         How do we lose our life for Jesus’ sake?

First and foremost we need to empty our self of the very thing hindering us, and this is our self.  Self is the root word of our very problem, which is selfishness. We need to get rid of anything causing us to be self-centered and self-absorbed. “Self” tells us to put our eyes on us instead of Jesus and others.  We can find our selves predominately focusing on our own needs and desires rather than focusing on what the Lord wants, or what others need.  When this happens we will become self-centered rather than Christ-centered and others-centered, and this is not imitating Jesus. 

Chances are we may never be called to face the tribulation Paul faced, but we will face difficulties in our Christian walk.  It could be a work situation or even a relationship issue causing a great challenge and temptation.  As we make Jesus our first love and lay our life down willingly, we will find our selves willing to endure many things otherwise unbearable. We can all say, "It's my life."  That's not the question - the question is how will we count it?  Will we count our lives so dear to our self that we deny living it for God, or will we willingly lay it down for our Lord and choose to be selfless?

STUDY QUESTION: According to Acts 20:22-24, what did Paul consider important?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Can you say with a sincere heart, you find the same importance and joy in allowing your life to be used by the One who created it?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Let’s seek to spend time with Jesus daily – remembering always, it is He whom we belong to and ultimately serve.  Let’s choose to keep our eyes on the goal of finishing our walk on this earth with His strength and joy.

LET'S PRAY: Father, thank You for allowing us to be used in Your ministry.  Thank You for reminding us of this truth.  We choose to be filled with Your joy today, knowing Your plans for our lives are amazing.  Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and joy today.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000