DON’T RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, RUN FOR THE LIVES OF OTHERS

The gift of life is by far more precious than anything I can imagine, yet many of us take life for granted everyday. Some of us take life for granted in the way that we treat ourselves and others, then there are those of us who just give up on life completely. The word life, itself implies living, growing and have the ability to change. When God created all life and He gave it purpose. It was never intended for mankind to be alone or isolated. In living we are to glorify God by how we give and share with others.

Yes! It’s true that life is frail, but if we trust in God, life with all it frailties will produce hope, not in ourselves, but in Jesus. The psalmist King David must have learned this valuable lesson about life, I am reminded of this song he wrote, Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. I strongly suggest that you read all of Psalm 118, it will encourage you to have a better perspective towards life, but more than life itself, you may find yourself coming to a place of worship and recognition of who the true life giver is, The Lord God.

The way we choose to live our lives is up to each of us, but there is a word of caution and wisdom given to all from the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seem right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” There are many ways that a person can choose to live out their life and I’ve given some thought to some of those ways concerning my own life, at times I have found myself at different points that have taken me through various stages, some of which have brought me comfort and others pain to myself and others. Take a moment to reflect on your life today, think about some of the stages that you have already gone through, ask yourself, “at what stage I’m I in today?” And where does God want me to be? Know that you and I have the ability to change how we accept our circumstances in life, with the help of Jesus we can make those needed changes in how we live.

THE WAY OF LIFE

The way we live life, no matter what our circumstances, is still a matter of choice. There imageare those of us who run from life, those who are enjoying life, those who hide from life, those who take life for granted and then there are those who run for their life, for the sake of saving the lives of others. It is here that I will share with you two such men who fled from those who wanted to kill them, Paul who was also know as Saul of Tarsus and Joseph his companion, called Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement“), what a blessing it would be if we all had such a companion by our sides, someone willing to live and speak boldly to unbelievers about the good news the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here in the Book of Acts we find such boldness of character.

LIVING FOR THE GOSPEL

Acts 14:1-7 At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders. The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles. There was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, where they continued to preach the gospel.

These two apostles Saul and Barnabas traveled for the sole purpose or do I mean the (soul purpose) of spreading the good news, that Jesus was the Son of God, who died for our sins, was resurrected from the grave by God, and is the savior of all who confessimage and turn away from a life of sin. It was Saul’s and Barnabas’s usual practice when traveling to a city, town or village to first go and visit the Jewish church. These two men really lived to preach the gospel of Christ. Imagine what the world be like if all Christians had the mindset of Saul and Barnabas when they traveled. My family travels on business with my wife Amy. We’re on the road several weeks at a time during the summer months when school is out. After driving seven to eight hours on the road even in a very comfortable vehicle, it’s a relief to arrive at our destination. As a family we’re always pretty good at remembering to give God thanks for getting us to our destination safely. But soon after that, it’s all about getting to our hotel room and making sure that the accommodation are suitable for my wife, in perpetration for her long work week. Next on the list is where are we going to eat? After that I have to make sure that I have access to WiFi so that my girls and I can play (I mean operate all our electronics). In now looking at all the things I allow to consume my life, it’s no wonder why I don’t take more time for gospel. Please don’t misunderstand me! I make it a point to share the gospel wherever I go, but I realize that I can be doing more, but when we forget our mission we come up short every time.

DONT FORGET THE MISSION

We are called to run for the lives of other. Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This is the mission of each and every Christian brother and sister in the world, starting with me and my family first, for such a mission takes companions like Saul and Barnabas, those who love you and will encourage you from forgetting your true mission. Yes there will be trials, pain, hurt, sorrow, doubts and suffering along the way. But the prize at the end of your travel is you get to see Jesus by being molded and conformed into His very likeness, not only you, but also the lives that you touch when you share the gospel. Saul and Barnabas didn’t run to save their lives out of fear of death, they ran for the furtherance of sharing the gospel so that those who were dying might be saved.

So Christian! Run like Saul and Barnabas and near the end of life’s travels, you too shall say. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8

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