But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the good news of the wonderful grace of God” (Acts 20:24 NLT).
The Apostle Paul understood the weightiness of his “assignment” to preach the gospel. His responsibility to share God’s grace was not based on head knowledge but rather experiential knowledge. Receiving such depth of grace made it easy for Paul to fulfill his assignment of giving away the good news and giving it away gave him great joy.
Students who are returning to school this fall will receive assignments too, tasks they will complete as part of the learning process. The actual definition of assignment has to do with being assigned a task or duty. In Acts 20 when Paul mentioned his “assignment” in what would be his final address to the Ephesians, I don’t hear phrases that describe a task or duty.
Instead, Paul writes about a passion, a cause, and a reason for living. He had a great perspective about his assignment that can be summarized in two important observations: 1) Who gave him the assignment, and 2) the significance of the assignment.
Paul clearly had come to know the One who had given him his assignment. In his letter to the Ephesian church he prays they will receive a revelation of who God is (Ephesians 1) and then a revelation of God’s love (Ephesians 3).
He seems to be praying they will grasp what he has come to know intimately. Knowing, loving and trusting the One who gives the assignment changes our perspective on the importance of the matter and on our desire to fulfill it.
We all give our lives to assignments everyday. We receive these assignments from family, employers, friends, and as a result of urgent situations. But am I truly giving myself to the assignment of the Lord Jesus or am I distracted by the assignments of others or even myself?
I want to say like Paul that I completed the course. I want to say that I finished the assignment of telling the world, with my life and words, all about the wonderful grace of God.
Prayer Focus: As we focus our hearts in prayer, I am asking myself and all of us this question: Is my life assignment enabling me to say, like Paul, that life is worth nothing unless I finish it? Am I finding joy and fulfillment in this assignment? Do I wake each morning with anticipation of today’s opportunities to see the assignment completed one day further?
Tammy Dunahoo is vice president of National Church Operations and general supervisor of The Foursquare Church.