Acts 20:24 NIV
 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
There is a lot of Gold in this chapter, but one of the things which jumped out at me was this exhortation from Paul to the Ephesian Church. He goes on to warn them that people will come and try to teach a false gospel and draw them away from the foundations of the truth that Paul preached. His encouragement is to persevere as he has done. Knowing they would never see him again, they wept. Some time later, in the book of Revelation, Jesus himself gives the church a report card, in the letter dictated to the Apostle John. “Revelation 2:2-3 NIV
It seems they have indeed persevered, but in their striving, they have forgotten the one for whom they are striving. ‘Remember you first love!’ it goes on to say. Did they heed this warning? History may suggest not??
Paul’s only focus was to finish the race and complete the task the Lord had given him. His life was of no consequence. This idea of persevering in the face of opposition, dissension, hardship and trials is both a word of encouragement for me but also a warning. A quick search on the word Persevere highlights its connection with future glory. For example:
James 1:12 NIV Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Lord, grant me a spirit of perseverance. May I truly believe that to live is a Christ and to die is gain. Help me always remember my First Love, and in the words of David, lead me in the way everlasting.