“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
I love this coffee mug! It makes me laugh every time I pick it up. I honestly cannot tell you why, but the seagulls in the movie “Finding Nemo” by Disney / Pixar simply crack me up! As Nemo’s dad and Dory flop around on the boat dock, hundreds of mindless seagulls begin to swarm the two screaming, “Mine!” as they jostle around hoping to partake in a lovely fish snack! It makes me crack a smile thinking about it even now.
Joking aside, I had no intention of writing about selfishness today. I love how God places things in your life as gentle reminders. This coffee mug, however, is more than a gentle reminder; it is screaming pure egocentrism. The dictionary defines egocentrism as “having little or no regard for interests, beliefs, or attitudes other than one’s own; self-centered.” Whoa! Do your toes hurt? Mine do! Ouch!
I love a good attention-getter! To me, these are the first warning signs from the Holy Spirit. He sounds the alarm, “Red Alert! Red Alert! Turn around before it’s too late!” In our society today, we are driven to be selfish. You can simply turn on the news and see the effects of selfishness, which breeds envy, hate, jealousy, and destruction. As children of God, we cannot live this way! It is not about you. Nothing on this earth is yours. You cannot say, “Mine!” because God alone gives and takes away dear friends. The “Owner” (God) is the only one who has the authority and power to do this. We as “borrowers” do not have any authority to claim self-righteousness. Our sole purpose is to show the love of Christ, share His gospel, and live like Jesus to the fullest measure possible!
This passage in Acts is a perfect example of this very principle. The apostle Paul makes a bold statement in 20:24 where he stated, “I consider my life worth nothing to me.” Yes! Paul got it! Paul’s main goal was to finish his race and complete the task the good Lord had given him. There was no other purpose. The devil spends a great amount of time distracting you from your main purpose. There is a billion dollar industry on self-help and motivation; however, I am here to tell you the only motivation you need is to seek God’s direction in your life and simply—-DO! There is no greater satisfaction than surrendering yourself to His calling. Remember, we cannot say, “Mine!”–rather we must proclaim–“His!”
I do believe I saved the best for last. In order to fully comprehend how Paul lived his life as a borrower and not an owner, we must look at the verses spoken just before verse 24. In verses 22-23, Paul stated, “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.” We almost need an intermission to digest these words!
Simply put, Paul did not say, “Mine!” He is not an owner of his own life. He is a borrower and is giving back fully. How do we know? He was compelled by the Spirit. Yes and Amen! Let the Spirit be your guide. Furthermore, he already knew that in every city he would face imprisonment and hardships…all for His glory! God has gifted each of us with special abilities and spiritual gifts to fulfill His greater purpose no matter the cost.
Challenge: Ask God to reveal any selfish ambition within your life. No longer claim, “Mine!” Instead, let us all proclaim the truth in one accord, “His!”