So here’s my favorite life verse… “I do not count my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry [the service – the task] that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God!” (Acts 20:24 ESV)
As many of you know, I believe, I am motivated and committed to pray daily for persecuted Christians around the world (including some in the United States experiencing persecution)… I pray for their protection, provision and health… I pray for their spouses, their children, and the churches they are a part of. I pray for their effectiveness in Christian witness and ministry. I pray they will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to stand strong for the Lord under great pressure and pain!
Yesterday, during my time of “Coffee with the Lord,” I: heard afresh the plea of Apostle Paul to the church in Colossae in one of his Prison Epistles… “Remember my chains!” (Colossians 4:18)
Paul’s voice became the voice of thousands of persecuted Christians around the world to me in a fresh way… “Remember our chains!”
Will you do it? Will you remember them and lift them to the Lord in prayer today?
I told my experienced hiking friend where I wanted to hike… He told me he had been there several times, but said, “the trail is tricky – You’ll need a detailed map.” He recommended the use of a wonderful phone app, “AllTrails”, that showed me the way. It depended upon the experience of several professional and amateur hikers who had done the trail several times. It not only mapped the trail, it also tracked a hikers progress. It had the ability to lead me to the trail head, chart my progress, and lead me back home… What a relief!
Successfully traversing the Christian life is a bit like that! We have a wonderful Savior! He came all the way from heaven to earth, took on humanity, was “tempted in all points like we are,” lived a sinless life, died for our sin and through His resurrection insured, not only our resurrection, but the power to overcome the challenges of living victoriously over sin in this life!
His life becomes a roadmap to heaven – The Holy Spirit becomes our constant guide and help along the way! He knows and has traversed the trail, all the way from heaven to earth and back to heaven again! He knows, and has successfully overcome every earthly challenge we face (including death) and has overcome it on our behalf. He knows the way! His Spirit is there to empower and guide us!
I thought of that this morning as I read Colossians 3:1-11 in my Bible during “coffee with the Lord!” In fact I jotted these words in the margin of my this morning…
“Go with Him all the way! He identified fully with us! He left heaven and came to earth! He walked the human pathway sinlessly, He faced the cross and conquered the grave! He ascended back to heaven and will one day return to take us there with Him! Go all the way with Him… all the way!!!
Here’s the way Colossians 3:1-11 puts it…
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory! Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature [then it lists a bunch of things people struggle with here on earth that were a part of their old sinful life]… You have taken off your old self with these practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator! Here… Christ is all, and is in all!”
All the way with Jesus, our Savior and Guide… He showed us the way! I’m determined to follow Him and depend on the Holy Spirit to help me! Hey, He knows the way!