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Ready to Die; Ready to Live

Today’s reading: Psalm 25-27; Acts 20:17-38

4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.                                                                         Psalm 27:4

24 But 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

As a young Christian, I was told, “A man is not ready to live until he has something he will die for.” [1] King David and the Apostle Paul both had clear objectives for their lives, goals they would give everything to accomplish.

David knew adversity and he knew how to turn to God for safety and refuge. But he also sought to know the Lord deeply, to be in His presence at all times not merely when he was facing danger. David loved the Lord. He found Him beautiful. He wanted to gaze upon Him. He wanted to learn from Him in His temple. These practices do not indicate that David sought to escape the responsibilities of daily life and retreat into some monastery. He goes on to plead,

Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Psalm 27:11

He wanted to know God so, like Paul, he could walk in His ways.

Paul understood that “imprisonments and afflictions” awaited him, but he resolved that his life was only valuable as he was able to finish the course God had set out for him and to fulfill the ministry the Lord Jesus Christ had assigned to him. Indeed, Paul would face years of imprisonment and, according to tradition, a martyr’s death.

Jesus said, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:24). Have you settled this? Are you ready to die so you are ready to live? As Joshua told the Israelites, “…choose this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15). Be ready to die, so you are ready to live.

[1] This seems to be a variation on a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Click here.

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#Biblereading #devotional #worship #MartinLutherKingJr #Faith #PurposeinLife #discipleship #Patience #missions #suffering

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