Today’s devotion is written by Jason Locker.
“What I do know is that the Holy Spirit testifies to me from city to city that prisons and troubles await me. But nothing, not even my life, is more important than my completing my mission. This is nothing other than the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus: to testify about the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:23-24 (CEB)
There are many professions in which carrying out your work and completing your mission can be a matter of life and death. We see these scenarios play out all the time on movie and television screens. Military personnel march bravely toward the sights and sounds at the front lines of a battle. A pilot tries desperately to regain control of an aircraft that has lost its engines, and is plummeting toward the ground. An intelligence agent searches for an essential piece of information as the enemy pulls into the driveway. A police officer walks into a store in the midst of a robbery in progress. A bodyguard shields the person they are protecting from danger with their own body.
Being an apostle in the early days of the Christian church was a dangerous profession. In preaching the good news about Jesus, many of the apostles were mocked, beaten, jailed, and killed. In Matthew’s gospel (24:9), Jesus warns the disciples that “They will arrest you, abuse you, and they will kill you. All nations will hate you on account of my name.”
Many of the early apostles, including Paul, were martyred on account of their faith and witness to the life and message of Jesus. In fact, the word martyr comes from the Greek word “martur” which means witness. A witness is someone who has seen or has personal knowledge of an event, and gives evidence or a testimony of what took place. Throughout Acts, the apostles shared their witness by healing the sick and ministering to those in need, often getting into a great deal of trouble with the authorities as a result.
Today, we apostles of Jesus Christ in Orlando, Florida are surrounded by people who are homeless, sick, hungry, and hurting. Though we are unlikely to be thrown in prison or killed because of our faith, we cannot be afraid to take up the ministry we have received from the Lord Jesus: to testify about the good news of God’s grace. Nothing is more important than completing our mission!
Do you wish you shared the good news with others more often?
What fears or other factors stand in your way, and how can you overcome them?
Please share your thoughts, comments, and questions.