When I read about everything Paul went through for the name of Christ, I have to admit that I feel a bit of shame. Reading how he was beaten, imprisoned, hated and even stoned. He showed courage no matter what the situation. He traveled far and wide to spread the name of Jesus. Then he goes on to talk about how he is actually more burdened with his concern for the church. He loved his fellow believers and felt what they felt. In everything he put others above himself, even to the point of death.
But when I look at my life, I know that I can do more. That I could be more bold. I have often put my own comfort or pride in front of the gospel. I have forgotten that this world is not my home and that all of its comforts and wonder will one day pass away. Even though he wants me to experience and enjoy this life, He must be first.
Its kind of backwards in a sense, the way some would think about that. Yes He is worthy and deserves our praise, but it’s really more about others and saving them from an empty life. True life is found and experienced as we walk with God. When we know God, we see His creation with a fresh sense of wonder. When we know God, we see His lost children with the same compassion and love. So when I interact with non-believers this has to be my focus. Above myself and any other concerns, I have to be thinking “This person is missing out on the greatest gift that has ever been given, life.” Jesus said I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.
The best part of all of this is that even though we have made mistakes, whether we are a believer or an unbeliever, God has promised to forgive and to restore us. He promises as it says in Isaiah, to make us white as snow.
Father, I pray for Your courage to be within me. The kind of courage that even faced death. I pray that I could see with Your eyes, so that I can love others as You did. I pray that I would remember that this is not my home and that one day all of this will pass away. Help me to remember, that day is coming and that it could be today.
In Jesus name, Amen