“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 20:24)
Paul’s goal was to complete the task God had given to him, no matter what the cost might be. Such sacrificial living in obedience to the Lord is essential in reaching God’s goals.
Grace is a beautiful word for the love of God in action providing redemption for lost people. Grace is the unmerited favor God gives to us in the forgiveness of our sins and all of the spiritual resources that build up the new life in Christ. Grace is God’s active, creative blessing in the lives of those who respond to Him in faith. This is what Paul’s reference meant, for one who had sacrificed everything to live in obedience to the Lord.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, Your call for us to serve, is in truth a call to sacrificial living to testify to the Gospel of grace. You have given it to us as a gift, by accepting Jesus as our Savior. Let our worship then flow out of grateful hearts. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Without Jesus in your life you have no life. With Jesus in your life, you have eternal life…It’s your choice, so choose wisely!”
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
True followers of Jesus Christ hear the Lord’s voice and follow Him. They know the security of being united with Him. They neither complain nor rebel. They obey. Simply put, discipleship is total obedience to Christ.
“As my Father has loved me, so have I love you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:9-12)
The profound love that God the Father has for the Son is the source, and the model, for the love that the Son has for His followers. The love that flows to believers from God the Father from from God the Son places a heavy demand upon us: ‘We are to obey God and love each other in the same self-sacrificial manner that Jesus loves us.’ Certainly the love of God comes to us, on the one hand, is a free gift. On the other hand, this same love of God comes to us as an insistent demand that we live in love for each other and for God. Love is the central characteristic of God and must become the central characteristic of God’s people!
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not sake it, because is was well built. But the one who hear my words does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (Luke 6:46-49)
Discipleship for followers of Jesus Christ involves hearing the words of the Lord as authoritative teaching and heeding them as authoritative command. Jesus showed the foolishness of merely claiming Him as Lord and then not being obedient. The implication is that we should stop claiming Jesus is the Lord of our lives if we are not willing to put His teaching into practice in our own lives. When we make false claims about Christ’s lordship in our lives, we are in for a shocking surprise, beloved.