As we continue to summarize what we learned from our study of Acts 20:17-21:1 let me share another application: finishing well.
Paul put it this way in his address to the elders from the church of Ephesus: “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
At this point in his life he declared to the elders, “I am innocent of the blood of all men.” What he meant was, he had warned each of them night and day with tears as he taught publicly and from house to house in the city of Ephesus. Luke’s record of the impact of Paul’s ministry there was, “that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord” (Acts 19:10).
When Paul wrote the Romans he shared that “from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ…But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to see you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain” (Romans 15:19 &23-24). It’s not clear Paul ever got to Spain, but he was committed to finishing every leg of the race and completing every task he received from the Lord Jesus.
The application question this raises for each of us is this: Am I committed to finishing every leg of the race I’m running and completing every task I sense the Lord has given me? Will my life leave a legacy of blessing to those I love and encounter in life?