A Bright Luster

“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life
dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy,
and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus,
to testify to the gospel of the grace of God”
(Acts 20:24).

Paul invites the elders of Ephesus to travel thirty-four miles away to Miletus, in order to share with them a farewell speech. He is aware of the dangers that await him – even death – but does not shy away from them. Someone else would have; not him. Paul will fight to the end, because “winners never quit and quitters never win” – Vince Lombardi. –

Paul recognizes that his most valuable asset is the Lord. As in the parable of the precious pearl (Matt. 13:45-46), it was well worth selling everything to keep the treasure. His living was Christ, and Christ was his life.

Paul not only wants to finish his race, he wants to do it in a victorious and joyful way. His ministry is the Lord’s property; it does not belong to him. God is the Owner and Paul’s great desire to answer to Him as a faithful administrator, ready to be held accountable.

Paul considered himself responsible for bearing testimony to the gospel and the grace of God as faithful witness, as much through his life as through the message he preached. He is the herald who declares and preaches a message as the King’s representative. The witness declares what he saw happen, but the herald proclaims what the king tells him. He is commissioned and sent with a message; he is not the originator of the message, but a transmitter of it.

Paul saw himself as a watchman. This is a reference to the sentinel on the walls of Ezekiel 33:1-19. His mission was to be awake and alert, ready to sound the alarm. He had to be faithful because the safety of many depended on him.

In the records of those have done and suffered for the name of Jesus, there is no name that shines with a brighter or purer luster than the name of Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles. The love of Jesus, glowing in his heart, made him self-forgetful, and self-denying.

He had seen the risen Christ, and the Saviour’s image was impressed upon his soul, and shone forth in his life. With faith, courage, and fortitude, that would not be daunted by danger or stayed by obstacles, he pressed his way from land to land to spread the knowledge of the cross.

Today the mission of the church
needs workers that shine,
that have pure and gleaming splendor,
that have the fire and passion of Paul.

God bless you, may His light shine through you…