But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
I’m sure you’ve heard of people climbing the corporate ladder, making it in Hollywood, or becoming an all-star athlete only to achieve their wildest dreams and plummet into depression, substance abuse, or loose living. Occasionally someone will reach the top and commit suicide because he or she discovered the only thing at the top was lonely, aching, emptiness. Living for self is an empty pursuit.
Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, people have been making their choices and pursuing happiness apart from God. The most basic sin is the pursuit of self rather than God.
Just as Anna had lived in the Temple for about sixty years telling others about the Messiah, Paul spent his life telling others about the same gracious Savior, Christ our Lord. Paul was a wanted man by the Jewish zealots (as he had once been). His friends pleaded with him not to return to Jerusalem, but he wasn’t interested in sparing his life. He was intent on spending his life for Christ. Paul said the Holy Spirit warned him that jail and suffering were in his future, but that wasn’t going to stop him from doing the work God chose him to do.
God chose you for a purpose, too. We easily become obsessed with pursuing our own desires and we forget God called us to be part of his story.
We tend to think of the Great Commission, the Lord’s command for us to spread the Good News to all people, as a task for missionaries or evangelists. It seems scary and uncomfortable. We may look at it as an undesirable command we must obey.
But, like Anna who joyfully told others to anticipate the coming Messiah, and like Paul who spent his life telling others the Good News about God’s grace, we need to realize the sharing comes as a natural overflow of what God is doing in our lives.
When we share answers to prayer, miracles, and other things God is doing in our lives, it isn’t drudgery. It’s a joy to share what God has done for us day after day. Perhaps we aren’t experiencing God’s work in our lives because we fixated on ourselves.
In legal terms, a testimony involves telling others what you have seen, heard, and experienced. We simply tell others about our experiences with Christ. It’s not our responsibility to convict, coerce, or condemn. We don’t need to know a set of principles or Bible verses. We need the joy of the Lord flowing from our hearts with love and grace. Others will be attracted to God in us and want to know more. How easy is that?
Lord, please help me stop focusing on myself. I want to focus on you. I want to experience your answers to prayers, miracles, and other blessings. I will tell others about your work in my life so you get all the credit. I want to tell others about you. Please give me ways to be an open vessel pouring out your love and grace to others.
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