Acts 20

“Worth The Risk”

What is a life worth risking for? Fame. Money. Reputation. Love. comfort. I don’t know that many besides the bold, and ruggedly honest would admit to risking their lives for money, fame, comfort or love. I mean it wouldn’t be the prudent thing to do, admitting risking the most precious resource we have (life) for such temporal things that fade so quickly. Right?


We regularly hear about people going through amazing and dangerous feats in hope of realizing the greatness of fame, depth of love, or lavishness of money. Just do a google search to see the hundreds of young people who suffer great physical harm completing a Tik Tok challenge, or some social media trend, hoping to go viral. Or look through the thousands of songs in our favorite music steaming app about love and it’s “complex” relationship to dying, as the major hit song on every corner of Tik Tok, by Katie Gregson-Macleod, points out.

Over and over again we find ourselves lost in the moment, willing to risk it all, for things that promise fulfillment but often just leave a hollow regret, or a hunger for something more satiable. If you have ever risked too much for too little, don’t worry, we’ve all been there.


Could there be more that we could risk our lives for? Well, if we were asking Paul, he would shout from the mountain tops a resounding YES! Acts 20 is a great reminder that Paul was constantly risking it all, strategically doing the most he could within his power, whether by travel route or congregational meetings,  for the gospel to reach as far and as deep as possible.

“I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 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…” (Acts 20:22-24)

Is there nothing more anxiety prone then the words, “I don’t know what will happen.” There is very few more vulnerable, and frightening phrases in all of human existance then those 6 words. We’ve all been through moments where we’ve had to say to ourselves or to people we trust deeply that we aren’t sure what is coming next in the sequence of life.

“I’m going to ask her to marry me, and I don’t know what will happen.”
“I’m going to tell the truth and I don’t know what will happen.”
“I’m going to apply for that job/school/grant/court order…”
“I am going to get the exam…”

Paul with clear heart and mind chooses to move forward in his plans to reach Jerusalem regardless of the outcome. He has already gotten through dangers and snares because the Spirit has led him thus far. But it’s not enough. He will continue to push and push until he completes the “race” set before him.

Paul counted the cost and chose Jesus. He didn’t want riches, fame, or comfort. There were no riches in his line of work. In fact, he had to have a side job of building tents in order for him to have enough to keep doing the work. He was infamous and was sought after for imprisonment and death, but that is not the kind of fame that most of us seek today. This third mission voyage was anything but comfortable on boat rides, and by foot, changing plans often to stay alive.

However, there is one from my original list at the beginning that Paul chose to die for.


Paul chose to die for love. Not the love that emotional passion can arouse in us. This facade of love that masks impassioned self-centered infatuation isn’t what Paul was willing to die for. Instead, it was the love that is found in deep a commitment of self-sacrifice which calls each us to pick up our cross and come follow Jesus. This Agape love that emanates from Christ to all who gaze into his countenance. Paul saw this on Damascus and would not turn back again.

May you and I gaze deeply into Jesus and find that we too are willing to risk it all!

By Iki Taimi

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