Matters of Faith: Committed to the Cause!

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

Acts 20:24-27 (NKJV)

24 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.
25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

A commitment is an obligation, a vow, a covenant. When I think of a commitment, I think of an oath…, like the one made in the Declaration of Independence. Those were not just words inscribed on a sheet of paper. Those words were of complete and total commitment, even unto death.

While traveling down the Damascus Road on his way to execute warrants for the capture and return of people who were followers of Christ, Saul encountered the risen savior (Jesus Christ). Nothing would ever be the same for Saul.

Everything from his mission to his name was changed. Saul became Paul. His mission changed from persecuting the church to being persecuted for the church; from being the biggest enemy of the new church to being its greatest advocate. He changed from taking people from the church to taking people to the church.

In the 20th chapter, Saul the persecutor is Paul the persecuted. The things he says no longer move him is his planned trip to Jerusalem and not knowing what will happen to him once he arrived. He knew because the Holy Spirit warned him that he would be inprisoned and face hardships. Yet, his commitment was to do God’s will. Didn’t you read where he said, “But I don’t care what happens to me, as long as I finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do.”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said somethkng very similar only hours before he was assassinated; “I’d like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m really not worried about that now. I just want to do God’s Will. Cause I’ve been to the mountain top and I’ve look over and seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we a people will get to the Promised Land.” Both King and Paul were committed to the cause.

If illness comes, so be it!
If persecution comes, so be it!
If death comes, so be it!

Paul’s concluding comments both identifies and challenges those of us who know Christ to be more commited to the cause when he said, “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.”

What is your commitment to this cause?

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096), and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and catch the Facebook Live broadcast. Email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book at Book Blues.

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