“I am coming to visit you after I have been to Macedonia, for I am planning to travel through Macedonia. Perhaps I will stay awhile with you, possibly all winter, and then you can send me on my way to my next destination. This time I don’t want to make just a short visit and then go right on. I want to come and stay awhile, if the Lord will let me. In the meantime, I will be staying here at Ephesus until the Festival of Pentecost. There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.” 1 Corinthians 16:5-9 NLT
Macedonia was the northern part of Greece. Paul was in Ephesus, a city in Asia Minor (the land we call Turkey today), preaching and teaching the gospel in spite of great opposition. He desired to make it to Corinth to check on the church there as well. Travel in those days was harsh. There were no air flights, cars, buses, or trains. Walking, horseback, or by ship were the only options. This kind of devotion to Jesus is remarkable. This man, Paul, who was once a persecutor of the church was now giving his all for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing else mattered to him. He was bent on sharing the gospel with every ounce of life within him.
What about us? Where is our devotion? What is our commitment? Are we sold out for Christ Jesus our Lord? Is our life's purpose to know Him and make Him known? These questions demand answers. What will be the memory of your life? Will others say you lived to pleasure yourself or to please Him? Think about that for a while. Ask God to help you see your life as He sees it. Are you an associate Christian (someone who claims to know the Lord yet denies Him in your conduct and character)? Jesus calls us to deny ourselves, take up His cross, and follow Him.
"Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 NLT
Can we honestly say that this is what we are doing?
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, help me remember that the purpose of my life is to glorify You! Help me regain my focus and finish well!
Rev. Curtis Norris