It was the beginning of the week and I was completing my BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) lesson. I was asked to look at a reference in Acts, specifically, Acts 20:24. In this portion of the scripture the Apostle Paul was saying a farewell, and in his good-bye to folks he included the following: However, 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. That is a powerful statement, and I love how focused Paul was in his life!! I thought to myself, now that’s a life’s goal right there. Could I have that kind of life goal, too? What would that look like? And then how could that life goal be a practical filter for my day? For example, “Does doing such and so testify to the gospel of God’s grace? No, okay then that shouldn’t be part of what I’m doing in my life.” That’s powerful. So I mulled over those thoughts at the beginning part of my week. That scripture was in my head and it was about to make it’s way into my heart.
By mid-week, I was knee deep in the trenches of ministry. I was prayerfully preparing a worship service for a funeral for a dear friend of our family. There were so many emotions going through my mind during that time of preparation and yet I was peaceful that God was going to do a mighty work that Wednesday afternoon. I knew that God’s glory would be seen because His truths were going to be shared and taught from His word the Bible, and truths, promises and exhortations about Him and His character were going to be sung. But what I experienced and saw was so much more. I saw the gospel, the good news of God’s grace that afternoon for myself. While leading the worship time I had the beautiful vantage point of seeing the faces of all the family and friends who had gathered there that day. I was so blessed and touched as I watched the sweet dear faces of the wife and daughters of our friend who had just gone to be with our Lord. They were praising God so beautifully and the joy on their faces I will never forget. I saw God’s grace to them to comfort them even in their time of suffering and loss. Their faces were filled with God’s love, grace and hope.
At the end of the week, we had to put our sweet twelve year old lab, Dusty to sleep. It was a hard decision but his old age had finally got up to him. Again, I saw the grace of God that comforted my dear six year old daughter who was very sad to lose her “pooch brother”. Even in the midst of her suffering, God showed up in her little face that was sad to lose her “best friend a girl could ever have” and yet she knew that her Almighty Father was taking care of Dusty now and that was enough for her.
So as I went back to review my BSF notes at the beginning of this week, they referenced the passage again. I loved reading over it and seeing how God answered my prayer from a week ago. I said that I wanted that kind of focus to be a part of my life, too. And God showed me that I was doing just that already–by my having typed this blog I was indeed testifying to the gospel of God’s grace!