but i do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only i may finish my course and the ministry that i received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. and now, behold, i know that none of you among whom i have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. therefore i testify to you this day that i am innocent of the blood of all, for i did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. [acts 20:24-27]
oh, that this would be said of each of us as children of the King! that we do not account our lives of any value nor as precious to ourselves, but only to obey the Lord, preach the gospel of grace, and not holding back the truth to those around us, no matter what the cost.
obviously this does not mean we hate ourselves and devalue our own lives. it simply means we see our value rightly, with the value that God has placed on us, fearfully and wonderfully making us, placing his love on us from the foundation of the world, setting us apart as holy for himself, calling us sons and daughters, sealing us with the Holy Spirit, who now leads us to do what we were created to do, worship and work for the glory of his great name, which will be our joy forever.
for to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. if i am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. yet which i shall choose i cannot tell. i am hard pressed between the two. my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. but to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. convinced of this, i know that i will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. [philippians 1:21-26]
so we delight to live for Christ’s mission. we delight to die for Christ’s mission. it is our life. he is our life. he is our everything!
brothers and sisters, if this truth does not describe you, if Jesus Christ is not the center of your life, not the center of your marriage, your family, your parenting, your career, your activities, your downtime, your thoughts, and your desires, then come into the presence of the God who has called you His! confess anything pulling you from the path of his good and perfect ways. confess idols that are taking his place on the throne of your heart. ask that he be your greatest desire. that he would place in you a longing and desperation for himself above all else.
there is joy when Joy himself is at the center. there is peace when the focus is the Prince of Peace. there is fulfillment when our purpose is his purpose. come to him. He will give you rest.
“the Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore i will hope in him.”
~ arwen eastman