Summary: We can accomplish great things for God, but none greater than the act of love!
23I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24However, 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.
You know after all my studying, and reading, and learning, do you know what I know?... NOTHING
After all that I have accomplished, awards, trophies, abilities, do you know who I am?...
When I look back on my life, do you know how many good works I’ve done?...
Paul said he knew that prisons and hardship were facing him wherever he went. Yet for him he didn’t care as long as he was doing what God had called him to. To testifying of God’s grace. What a wonderful place in your life to reach.
After seeing the movie, “The Passion of Christ”, I was humbled to the very core. I’ve know all my life what He did for me. I have lived through enough Good Friday’s and Easters trying to comprehend the meaning. I’ve heard the goriest sermons man could muster up trying to tell the story. I’ve tried myself to paint the picture in sermons of what He went through. But nothing could come close to the visual images that I hope stay forever lodged in my memory. Never do I ever again want to take for granted the gift of grace. We say it is a free gift from God. No way was it free people. It was costly.
I can’t relate so much to Paul. I don’t think I have prisons and physical persecution awaiting me. My life is pretty good. When I survey my life and see the blessings in it, I am truly amazed at what God has given me. A beautiful, loving, kindhearted wife. Who is a wonderful mother to the best little boy in the entire world. I have so much that it is hard to come up with a Christmas wish list of things I need and want. I have a job that I love, surrounded by people that I love and for whatever reason seem to love me too. I have been given the ability to do some things well, have a love for sports, and the outdoors which I get to enjoy regularly. I was brought up, shown love, and made to feel like I was worth something. I have a wonderful family and even wonderful in-laws. On and on and on and on and on and on and on I could go.
I can’t relate to Paul with his suffering. But listen to this. With how good my life is, I still would consider it worth nothing if I were not able to share God’s love and testify to the gospel and the grace He has entrusted me with. You see no matter where life has brought you to at this point, or wherever it is heading. There is nothing that compares to the love that God has for you.
So I like Paul am compelled to do that which God has called me to. That means something very specific for me.
That means something for you as well.
WELL WHAT?? What does it mean for you? Let me give some things this morning that the Bible tells us we can do. Gifts God gives, callings for your life.
1. We can speak in the tongues or languages of men and of angels.
I’m not sure what all of that entails but...
There is a huge need for those to take the gospel into a part of the world where they don’t have it as readily as us. I plan on learning how to speak Spanish. And will let God use that for whatever He wants. If I don’t learn it He can’t barring a miracle, use me to directly share the Gospel, given a chance to someone who only speaks Spanish. If I do learn it, God at least has that option to use me in whatever way He sees fit..
I heard the testimony of a woman who traveled to a tribe in Africa of whom no outsider had ever traveled to before. She didn’t know the language. No one outside their village knew the language. There were no books to help her learn what words meant. So, she went there not even knowing what will happen to her when she arrived. As she rowed up in her canoe, the natives were taken way back. They had never seen a white woman before, didn’t even know they existed. To make a long story short, she somehow lived among them and eventually learned what some words were. Eventually she could struggle along enough to communicate with them, in their language. By the time she left, she put in their hands the gospel written in their own tongue.