A Thousand Little Deaths to Point Others to Life
By Jennifer Slattery
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
It felt like a type of death—of a dream and the way of life I’d envisioned. Though it wasn’t the first time God had asked me to surrender something I held dear for that of greater worth.
Lives changed and redeemed. That’s the greatest purpose mankind can have, the greatest dream we could ever chase—to lay everything aside for the sake of another, that they may know Christ and find themselves in Him. That’s God’s call for each of us.
This might mean choosing a life of ministry over a steady paycheck, and certainly a life of obedience over certainty and personal pleasure. We’ll probably need to embrace countless small daily “deaths” as we willingly bowed my heart to God, saying, “In whatever way You choose, in everything I say and do, may my life point others to You.”
If asked, would we, like Paul, the author of today’s verse be strong enough to endure intense persecution, the threat of execution, if we knew it meant another life saved?
Paul’s ministry began with sacrifice when God called him to leave his prestigious role with the religious elite of his day to pursue a life of ridicule and contempt. The more his ministry grew, the more daily “deaths” he faced. He was beaten, flogged, chased out of a city by a rioting mob, imprisoned, and stoned and left for dead. But Paul endured it all, willingly, joyfully, surrendering those things, like safety and prestige, he once held dear, to gain something more—the incomparable joy of seeing lives saved for all of eternity.
God invites us to make that same choice each day, focusing on those things that are of infinite worth—the souls of His beloved children.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is a multipublished author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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Originally published Saturday, 19 October 2019.