Anyone can have a strong start but finishing well is another matter. Likewise, anyone can come in and be a rescue for a moment, but it is the day-in, day-out faithfulness that changes lives more than a momentary act of service. Perseverance and staying on mission are required to see our calling through to the end. The Apostle Paul has some insights to help us see our calling through to the end. We can be faithful and finish well even and especially when the calling becomes hard.
Bible Reading: Acts 19-20
Paul was boldly sharing the whole counsel of the word of God. He did not shy back from things that were not politically correct. And sometimes this leads to persecution. But the word of God flourishes even during persecution. Still, don’t mess with idols or sacred cows, right? There might be riots.
Finishing Well—Despite Persecution
“23 About that time there was a major disturbance about the Way. 24 For a person named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, provided a great deal of business for the craftsmen. 25 When he had assembled them, as well as the workers engaged in this type of business, he said, “Men, you know that our prosperity is derived from this business. 26 You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this man Paul has persuaded and misled a considerable number of people by saying that gods made by hand are not gods. 27 Not only do we run a risk that our business may be discredited, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be despised and her magnificence come to the verge of ruin—the very one all of Asia and the world worship.”
28 When they had heard this, they were filled with rage and began to cry out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 So the city was filled with confusion, and they rushed all together into the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s traveling companions. 30 Although Paul wanted to go in before the people, the disciples did not let him. 31 Even some of the provincial officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent word to him, pleading with him not to venture into the amphitheater. 32 Some were shouting one thing and some another, because the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together.”
Finishing Well—Causes for Persecution
- Don’t mess with people’s prosperity.
- Don’t mess with people’s idols.
- And don’t mess with people’s views.
But we know that God messes with us, right? Thank God that He breaks through our religiosity, our idols, our comfort zone, and our wrong views to bring us the truth. And this is what we must do.
Finishing Well—Obstacles to Faithfulness
Spiritual resistance, compromise and the herd mentality are obstacles to finishing well. The herd mentality alone is difficult to deal with. Being faithful to God flies in the face of what our culture chases after. Many times people don’t even realize what they are following and the spiritual resistance they give is based on ignorance and selfish motivations.
“Some were shouting one thing and some another, because the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together.
Look at the riots we have today. Many do not even know why they are participating. Or they think they know why. They are fed propaganda and are willing to march for it.
Paul injects and speaks truth into that space and we are called to, as well. It will not be easy. Or popular. But we must prove faithful. Many times God will call us to a mission where we will meet with resistance. This does not mean stop. This means to persist with prayer and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Paul sought counsel from the Holy Spirit.
Acts 19:21, “After these events, Paul resolved by the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem. “After I’ve been there,” he said, “It is necessary for me to see Rome as well.”
It will be easy to consider compromising. It is hard to proclaim truth to people who don’t want to hear it. But persevere, friends. Paul demonstrated how to walk faithfully and to keep our purpose at the forefront.
Finishing Well—Without Compromise
“20 You know that I did not avoid proclaiming to you anything that was profitable or from teaching you publicly and from house to house. 21 I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.”
Scripture of the Day: Acts 20:24
“24 But I consider my life of no value to myself; my purpose is to finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.”
- What is the ministry or calling that you are called to? Don’t let problems or resistance prevent you from doing the work and finishing well.
- Learn to see things from a spiritual perspective.
- Remember like Paul did that this life is not about us. It is about testifying about Jesus.
- Finish well, friends!
𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝘁 12 𝗽𝗺 𝗘𝗧.
Day #335: Acts 19-20
𝒱𝑒𝓇𝓈𝑒 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒟𝒶𝓎: Acts 20:24
“But I consider my life of no value to myself; my purpose is to finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.”
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