Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Chart Your Course

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. (2 Timothy 4:7 NLT)

One day, we will give our final words. We may be aware they’re our last words, but then again, we may not have that luxury.

In 2 Timothy 4, the apostle Paul wrote his final words. His turbulent life was coming to an end, and he had truly made a difference.

An amazing series of events led to his being in the dungeon where he wrote his epistle to Timothy. It began when Paul wanted to go to Jerusalem and preach there. But a prophet named Agabus took the belt Paul had been wearing, wrapped it around his own arms and legs, and said, “So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles” (Acts 21:11 NLT).

When the believers heard this, they pleaded with Paul not to go to Jerusalem. But Paul told them, “Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus” (verse 13 NLT).

Jim Elliot was a twentieth-century martyr who died in his endeavor to take the gospel to the Waorani tribe of Ecuador. Years earlier he wrote in his journal, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

In the same way, Paul gave his life completely to the Lord. He didn’t fear what others could do to him. Writing to the church in Corinth, he said, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT).

Paul went to Jerusalem and preached there, and sure enough, an angry mob wanted to kill him. The Romans arrested Paul and later transferred him to the Roman governor Felix.

Now, Paul could have talked his way out of this mess. Instead, the Bible tells us that Paul spoke to Felix about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come. Then he challenged Felix to come to Christ. However, Felix procrastinated.

Ultimately Paul used his rights and privileges as a Roman citizen and appealed to Caesar. But on the way to Rome, a severe storm arose, and Paul and the others found themselves shipwrecked on an island. Even so, Paul’s time had not yet come.

This serves as a reminder that until God is done with us, nothing will stop us. It doesn’t mean that we should test God and do foolish things or unnecessarily risk our lives. But if we seek to stay in God’s will, then we don’t have to worry.

We all will leave a legacy. What will people remember about us? What will our family members say? What will we be known for? If you don’t like the course your life has taken, then it isn’t too late to change it.

Copyright © 2023 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

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