Summary: Paul wasn’t ASHAMED of the GOSPEL, Paul didn’t ARGUE with GOD, Paul wasn’t AFRAID of a GOAL. How to get off "Halfway Blvd." and relocate to the corner of "Busy Street" and "Active Avenue". Free Powerpoint template at website.
Powerpoint Template at:
"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life
dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the
ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the
gospel of the grace of God."--Acts 20:24
" . . .I have finished my course . . . ."--II Tim. 4:7.
Recently I saw the words, "HALFWAY BOULEVARD" written on a street sign.
"That’s the street most Christians live on." I thought to myself.
In our text, we find a man who was not satisfied to live
there. He was not happy on “nine-mile hill, “one-mile bridge” or even
“midway lane”. He had to be right in the heart of things for God.
Paul is saying to us, "I don’t care if they criticize me, beat me,
lock me up in jail, stone me or kill me: I want to be an
all-out, dedicated Christian. I want to finish my course."
Paul Wasn’t Ashamed of the Gospel. He was always glad to be
identified with Christ. He stated on one occasion, "For I am not
ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto
salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to
the Greek" (Rom. 1:16).
People seem to be willing to speak out for sin and all the rest that
the Devil stands for. Yet around the church they are quiet as
mice. [testimony time] Should I not assume that the children of God
are afraid to speak out for Jesus in the world all the more?
Paul Didn’t Argue With God. When the Spirit of the Lord
spoke to his heart, he began to pack his suitcase. On one occasion,
he was leaving for Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered him not and he
didn’t go. Then he saw the vision of the Macedonian man, and right
away he left for Macedonia. Obedience is the greatest attribute of
the child of God.
Paul Was Not Afraid of a Goal. He knew where he was going.
He pressed toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God
in Christ Jesus (see Phil. 3:14). He also knew what it was going to
cost him to get there. yet he still refused to ease up. Thank God
for a man who would not be lukewarm, halfhearted or casual with
God’s business! Christians have no business living on "HALFWAY
For those who agree and desire to move to a more active life of
service for God, I suggest you take along some new items to move into
a new location at the corner of “Busy Street” and “Active Avenue.”
Notice the seven things that ought to be a part of your life.
I. THE GO OF COMMISSION
God told Abraham to go, and he went. So did Moses, Joshua,
Elijah, Peter, Paul, the blind man, the adulterous woman, the maniac
of Gadara and many others. He gave us the Great Commission as a
last, dying request.
Isaiah got a glimpse of the Lord one day and became troubled
about his sinful condition. Just as soon as that was taken care of,
he wanted to go. He volunteered himself and cried out, "Here am I;
send me" (Isa. 6:8). It is normal for a person to want to go with
God’s message. There is something wrong when we do not want to go.
II. THE GLOW OF COMPASSION
Compassion will develop and grow as we are exposed to the
need. The psalmist explains this: "He that goeth forth and
weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with
rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Ps. 126:6). Jesus had
compassion on the multitudes and wept over the city of Jerusalem.
Paul ceased not to warn the people with tears day and night.
I remember one night visiting in a home where I was trying to
win the husband to Christ. He was polite but hard. "No, thank you," he said several times. Then I noticed his little wife
began to weep silently. When he saw the tears running down her
cheeks, he broke and opened up, eventually getting saved. Compassion had brought results again!
III. THE GRIP OF CONVICTION
When a person makes a commitment to God, it ought to grip his
soul. His mind ought to be made up at that point that the Bible is
right and that settles it! There used to be a day when right was
right and wrong was wrong, but that day is gone. Gray has replaced
black and white, and we are in a mess. No wonder when people leave they end up in all kinds of other belief systems, blown about by every wind of doctrine!