“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24, NKJV)
From Troas Paul went by land to Assos, where he rejoined the rest of the party and sailed to Miletus. Since Miletus was only about fifty kilometers from Ephesus, Paul took the opportunity to call elders of the Ephesian church to come and meet him. He wanted to give them some final encouragement and pass on helpful warnings. (Acts 20:13-17) Paul’s opponents in Asia had probably been trying to turn the Christians against him. Therefore, he reminded the Ephesian elders of his tireless work in Ephesus and of the constant danger he faced from the Jews. (20:18-24)
Duty is of more importance than life; and when either duty or life is to be cheerfully surrendered. We should strive so to live that we will have nothing to regret when we lie on a bed of death. It is a glorious privilege to finish life with joy. It is most sad when the last hours are embittered with the reflection that life has been wasted. The only way in which life may be finished with joy is by meeting faithfully every duty, and encountering, as Paul did, every trial, with a constant desire to glorify God.
The great design of the ministry is to bear witness to a dying world of the good news that God is merciful, and that his favor may be made manifest to sinners. It matters little when, or where, or how we die in the discharge of our duty to God.
MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.
The NKJV Bible