My Assigned Task

So, I’ve finally finished the page design on the Bible Study I’m working on. Yesterday I started teaching it. The ladies were excited about conquering a new and rather daunting book of the Old Testament. It was pretty cool, helping them see the landscape of Jeremiah. I can’t wait to see what happens as they get into it!

In the meantime, here we are in ACTS.

Sometimes, a single phrase will shout at me, and I am left to ponder. The message Paul gives us in Acts 20:24 holds that kind of power over me. Paul says, “But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doinhg the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus — the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love!”

Paul? His life worth NOTHING?

That’s a pretty powerful idea, isn’t it?

It strikes me in two ways. One: Paul knew exactly what task he’d been assigned. How many people these days are marching their way through life without a single clue as to WHAT TASK has been assigned to them? They repeat day after day, doing the same things, the urgent things, the daily things — and they have never experienced the kind of single-mindedness that Paul understood. MY TASK. The one I am ASSIGNED BY JESUS.

It’s all about purpose. Knowing your task, and then embracing it fully. Wouldn’t it be great to KNOW your life purpose?

I struggle with that. Sometimes, I feel quite confident in my task. At other times, I feel like a hiker lost in a dark cave. Where am I? How do I find the light?

And the second thing that strikes me about my friend Paul is that compared to this task, his life is nothing. Now, Paul is no superhero. He has skin and bones, just like you and I. He has aches and pains. He has friends, and enemies. He probably found that wool was pretty scratchy. He got hungry, and he got tired.

But in the midst of daily life, of loving people, of making tents, of having friends, enjoying dinner, and beaufiful sunsets, Paul felt that his life was worth NOTHING, COMPARED to using his life for the task.

Do you hear the enormous value Paul puts on accomplishing this task that Jesus has given him?

I am coming to believe that God has individual tasks just for us, tasks that are more specific than the global task of taking the message into all the world. I believe we each have a special gift that we are to use to bless the world around us. I think God wants us to sense the importance of our lives — not just because we are alive — but because there is a task that only we can accomplish.

And if we miss the task, we miss something enormously important.

Paul understood how important it was. Do you?

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