Grace for Your Race
By: Greg Mohr
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.Acts 20:24, New King James Version
Each of us has an individual assignment from the Lord and a race to run to advance the kingdom of God. In whatever platform of influence He has opened for us, we are called to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. We should use every opportunity to tell others about the goodness of God we have experienced. Each of us has the assignment to share with others the Good News that has changed our lives. None of us is exempt.
Paul tells us two things in this verse that hinder us from finishing our race with joy. First, he said, “but none of these things move me.” Personally speaking, this is a major roadblock to both finishing my race and doing it with joy. So many things are presented to me on a daily basis that tempts me to be moved by them. Decisions have to be made that require my focus and attention. When conflicting priorities and values make the decision difficult, I have to commit it to God in prayer and choose not to be moved by confusion and doubt.
People’s needs, problems, and demands require that I seek God about His priorities with my time.
Jesus did not allow Lazarus’ sickness and impending death or His brothers’ pressure to go to the feast prematurely to move Him. He prayed, followed the Spirit, and did not apologize for staying two days longer where He was at the Spirit’s instruction.
Second, Paul says, “nor do I count my life dear to myself.” Selfishness and protecting “my rights” are also huge roadblocks to finishing my race with joy. In the course of fulfilling my God-given assignment, I find there are many difficult people along my path. I have to watch my attitude and guard my heart against judgment. After all, they need the grace of God too. Right?
Actually, these folks are part of my assignment and ministry. Don’t avoid difficult people. That is counting your life dear to yourself. You cannot finish your race doing that. Manifest Jesus to them. Overcome evil with good. Pray for them. Bless them. Find something good you can say to build them up and encourage them.
There is obviously some area of hurt or wounding in their life they have not received healing from. When you or I manifest selfishness to them, demanding “our rights,” we further entrench their wounding and pain. I have determined to make it a part of my journey and ministry to be an agent of healing to these individuals. Knowing this is part of my assignment prepares me and provides me joy on my journey.
These people are not obstacles to our race. They are grace assignments and targets of God’s love and redemption. Don’t allow things to move you or selfishness to rule the day.