In this section of Acts 14, it’s the apostles’ unshakable resolve that is on display. It doesn’t matter where they go or what they encounter; they just continue to do what the Lord has called them to do. Thankfully we can gain great insight into Paul’s ministry mindset from his writings. In addition to what we read in Col. 1 during our Scripture reading time, listen to the following verses—Acts 20:24 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.
Gal. 4:19…my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!
2 Cor. 12:15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.
Paul is completely aware that not everyone is called to full-time ministry, but these passages still beckon us to consider: How do we view our lives? Or even more specifically, how do we view our relationships? Is there a giving of ourselves with the desire of benefitting others? If not, we can reword Paul’s words in Acts 20:24 this way—I count my life as too valuable and too precious to myself to be spent for others’ sake. This outlook on life leads one to spend their days benefitting themselves, irrespective of what Christ has commanded. There might be some ministry towards others, but only if there is some sort of personal gain involved. And if there is no perceived personal gain, others are looked upon as hindrances to our selfish aspirations, instead of opportunities to spend ourselves for Christ’s honor. We all need encouragement in this area to have faithfulness, patience and steadfastness.