Three Actions of Successful Men
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. — Acts 20:24
This verse is one of the most significant verses in this chapter, if not one of the top five of this book. This single sentence gives us an inside look at what is behind Paul's drive as a man. Three hidden beliefs that are fueling his motivation. The first belief is that the intrinsic value of this life is not something to be held in high regard. I believe Paul says this because of what he had seen at the beginning of his Christian life — the resurrected Jesus. Remember when we began reading the book of Acts, we said the central message of Acts is the resurrection. The resurrection is where this letter begins, it's what instigated the change in Paul, and it is the one thing that Paul preached every time he entered a city. And we see here that he believes it. He believes in the resurrection so much that his life has less value to him. He understands that the resurrection is not just something that happened to Jesus, but something that will happen to him. And because he knows his death and resurrection are imminent, his present life has less or decreasing value to him, other than being a vehicle to speed the advancement of the message of the resurrection. The second belief that fuels Paul's motivation is the unique calling God gave him. He is resolute in the conviction that God has called him to be the minister of the gospel to the Gentiles to persuade some of the Jews. And as we have learned through Acts, Paul has been faithful and been more adamant about his ministry as time went on. The third belief that fuels his motivation is his personal experience with the grace of God. You see, Paul did not deserve the grace that God extended to him. That's why it's called grace. In fact, Paul deserved punishment for his sin. He had tried works-based religious practices and even made a life of it as a Pharisee. And he was pretty successful at works-based religious practices. Until he met with the justice of God on the road to Damascus and discovered grace-based living, and this is what fueled Paul. Not his good works, or the lack thereof, but the grace that daily gave way to a life of obedience.
So what do we learn?
Three actions drive successful men. They fix their eyes on Jesus. They live out their specific calling. They receive his grace. And then they do it day after day after day until they can look back and say I have run the race, and I have finished the course.
ASK THIS: Which of the three actions do you need to give a little more attention to today?
DO THIS: Act on that need.
PRAY THIS: God, I want my life to be meaningful and successful. Help me to know the secrets Paul learned here.
PLAY THIS: Whatever Your Plan Is — Josie Buchanan.
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