A mature Christian said longingly, “Oh, that I could turn back the clock 20 years and go on ministering for the Lord!” That’s a commendable wish but impossible to fulfill. One life is all we’re given. Within God’s sovereign purposes, one life, whether long or short, is enough.

In Acts 20:22-23 and 21:11, God revealed that tribulations and possible death awaited Paul in Jerusalem. But instead of avoiding Jerusalem, Paul declared, “None of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus” (20:24). Paul’s goal was not to extend his ministry but to complete it.

Our goal, like Paul’s, should be to glorify Christ in our body, “whether by life or by death” (Phil. 1:20). Then, if necessary, we can afford to lose our liberty and our very lives. We can be sure God will use others to carry on His work and bring it to completion.

Paul’s death did not bring his influence to an end. In Acts 20:28, he bequeathed his ministry to the church overseers, and we’re still reaping the benefits of his life today.

Life is brief—”a vapor” (Jas. 4:14). With Christ’s help, let’s invest our lives in something that will outlast us.