English Standard Version (ESV)
After Paul met Christ on the road to Damascus, he knew who he was living for, and he knew his hope. The remainder of his life was the unfolding of that purpose -- to declare the Gospel and to share his hope in Jesus Christ. Everything he did was based on these things.
So the question falls to us
1 -- For whose sake are we living? Are we building up our own Kingdom? Or are we living for the sake of Christ's church, looking for options to serve. There is so much that is unknown about the future, and there is currently so much uncertainty in the world, and all of this can make us want to save, to protect, to shelter. We plan for every contingency, and we think about how to get and protect resources for ourselves. It's the natural human tendency, and I've spent a lot of time thinking about these things lately. The uncertainty makes me want to have a plan for every possibility -- if I'm honest with myself, I'm trying to shore up the walls on my own Kingdom, which will eventually topple, no matter what. To step out of my Kingdom and invest my limited resources in God's Kingdom requires such a huge amount of trust, and it's hard. It's faithful, but it's challenging. But if I'm really living for God's Kingdom, for the sake of the faith of God's elect, I've got to be willing to put my resources on the line, right? To risk, to serve, to love.
2 -- What is your hope? Paul is clear about his hope in eternal life. This clear hope allowed him to ignore the threats to his own life, because he knew this life was just a beginning -- it's the prologue to the real story. And when you're reading a book, you often skip over the prologue, because the best part of the story is still to come. Paul's hope allowed him to go boldly without fear. What is your hope, and how does it change your life?