Paul summarized his life’s purpose to the elders of the church in Ephesus, “I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Paul was willing to die for the cause of Christ, and to this cause, Paul saved many and angered more, especially the Jews in authority. They tried to silence the gospel by arresting Paul, but their efforts lifted him to his biggest stage, placing Paul in court before the governor of Judah, then the king, and ultimately the Caesar of Rome.
The charges against Paul were brought by the chief priest and leaders of the Jews, who “had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive” (Acts 25:19). The cross has always been the crux of the matter. If it was the end of Christ, it was the end of Christianity, but if Jesus lives, Jesus reigns, over governors and kings and Caesars, and over the Apostle Paul, and over me. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords and reigns over all. In the well written words of C.S. Lewis, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” All or nothing and nothing in the middle.
Savior God, there is no other Name than Jesus Christ by which we are saved. Jesus, Son of God, You left heaven, came to earth, sacrificed Your life, saved many. But not all. Some say no. You gave your life for them anyway. That’s how much You love us.
Thank You for displaying Your love to me in such a way that my will wilted and I could do nothing else but embrace You. Your grace compelled me to make You Lord and Savior. God, in my life and the lives of all who call You Lord, may Your grace be displayed and cause all who see it to bend our knees and call You Savior and Lord.