But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace. Acts 20:24
I am thankful for the men and women who have fought for freedom around the world. The most incredible part about it to me is the pre-meditation of it. It is no accident to land yourself in battle for your country. No, soldiers leave everyone and everything behind, knowing full well they may never return.
I think about the extraordinary number of goodbyes that surely have taken place; where purpose supersedes self, to the point of being ready and willing to lay your life down for it.
Paul gave one of those goodbyes in Acts 20 to the leaders of the church in Ephesus. He was leaving for Jerusalem, knowing in his heart and soul that he would suffer there (23). He knew they would never see each other again (25).
But Paul was preaching a freedom worth dying for. His purpose of spreading the life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ superseded everything else.
I ran across this tweet by Richard Ross today: “Church parents applaud those who die for country…but cannot comprehend their child dying for the expansion of the gospel.”
That makes me think.
Am I teaching my kids that following Jesus means I lay down my life, whether literally or figuratively, for His purposes?
Do I count my life as no value to myself, so I may finish my course and finish the ministry I received from the Lord?
Do I say goodbye every day to earthly pursuits that I may know Christ and make Him known?
Do I simply admire Paul’s words in Phil. 1:21, “For me, living is Christ and dying is gain,” or do I live that way?
The best way to remember those who have given up their lives for freedom is to live that way, too. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus so that His purposes supersede ourselves. There are some things worth dying for.