But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)
The world has a saying “that everything has its price.” In other words, the world quips, every man has a price at which he would sell his person, position, morality, and values. The appeal to covetousness, greed, comfort, and preservation of life (safety) is inherent in the world’s statement. The apostle Paul had no such price because he placed no inherent preciousness upon himself. He was not troubled to deter his course by a mere appeal for the preservation of his life.
Paul was constrained in his spirit to return to Jerusalem. The future had been broadly communicated to him by the Holy Spirit, bonds and afflictions abide me. His course was steadfast. The enemies were the love of human comfort and self-endearment. If Paul yielded to these enemies the result would be grief, sorrow, and a shelved ministry.
Believer, what price do you place on yourself? How valuable is your earthly existence? How cheap would you sell a living sacrifice for the salvation of the lost and the sanctification of the saved? What degree of affliction in the loss of human comfort would cause you to consider the temptation of a shipwrecked testimony? Is it not easy to avoid the cross (under the guise of wisdom and prudence, of course!) rather than embrace weakness in order that His power may be manifested?
The glory of Jesus Christ is inestimable and infinitely precious. The unsearchable riches of the gospel of the grace of God bear no earthly price. The freeness of His grace are beyond the rust of human wealth. The justification of God is worth human death. The fulfillment and fulfilling of His Word and promise are not worthy to be placed on the same balance as my safety and comfort. Yes, the fulfillment of the Word of God is more valuable than my earthly relationships, comforts, monies, joys; and yes, my life (Matthew 26:54). I magnify my estimation of the worth of the glory of God in my willingness (or lack thereof) to give all for its exaltation.
This is easy to proclaim and easier to pen in the security of a carpeted, chair-padded, thermostat-controlled, pleasant room of study. However the day will come when, in measure, the same circumstance the apostle confronted will arrive in my life, the life of the church, and yours. None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself. My life has no value. I am not the center of existence. The glory of Christ is all that matters. This is true wealth and the only proper estimation in life. His Word, His life, and His glory are to be seen in and though this dispensable and decaying vessel of dust.