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However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. (Acts 20:24 NIV)
For the month of May, Dr. Randy is giving us, “Today’s Word for Your Life.” And as you can see from the above title, today’s word is COMPLETE.
The above words were part of the apostle Paul’s farewell speech to the elders of the church in Ephesus. He talked about serving the Lord even in the midst of severe testing by the plots of his Jewish opponents. Yet, he never hesitated to preach out loud and from house to house.
The preceding verse Paul says, “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.” So what is Paul doing? Finishing the race and completing the task that Jesus had given him, proclaiming the good news of God’s grace. In other words, like first responders and medical personnel who do not run from the trouble, but run towards it, so too was the apostle Paul running towards the trouble.
Paul is running to save lives — eternally. Those who are running today toward trouble are also running to save lives — in the here and now. We thank you for your service, and we pray for you. Because what you do may allow someone to live a little longer so that they may find Jesus. Or maybe you’ll find Jesus.
Fast forward a few years; Paul’s in a Roman prison, and he’s writing his last letter to Timothy. One of the last things he says is: For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV)
The Greek word for complete has some rather profound meanings: to make perfect, to carry through completely, to accomplish, to bring to an end, to finish and fulfill. That’s pretty lofty language.
Today’s One Thing
So how do we know that we’re going to be able to complete the task? Especially in that lofty, biblical context. What is your task? What has He called you to do? Callings and tasks are myriad, but one thing I do know: I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NAS) Ask the Lord what you should be running toward. Ask Him what your task is; then trust Him to give you the strength to complete it.
Watch Dr. Randy Carlson’s Intentional Living Minute on COMPLETE. You can get the Intentional Living Minute in your email when you go to TheIntentionalLife.com/minute.