But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry…
We note here —
I. CALM DETERMINATION.
1. As to himself. He is greatly concerned as to the conduct of his own life. He has a great work to perform, and he is most anxious that nothing should mar it, or reflect discreditably upon the great purpose of the gospel. He looks well to the end, but is vigilant all along the road. To finish as he would desire he must keep his loins well girded. He anticipates the crown, but meanwhile he is ready to bear the Cross unmoved.
2. His ministry. About this he was most jealous. Since he had first asked, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" he had been "instant in season and out of season" in the pursuit of that one grand work of "testifying the gospel of the grace of God." Such determination could not be changed, such preaching none could silence.
II. READY SACRIFICE. "Neither count I my life clear," etc.
1. This was no empty boast. Paul had already suffered. His Lord to him was ever more than his own life.
2. It was a spiritual appraisement. What was his life in comparison with that ministry with which he bad been put in trust? What his convenience or comfort? He could willingly "suffer the loss of all things," and even "count them but dung," that the great cause might be served (Romans 8:18).
III. SIMPLE STEADFASTNESS. He who exhorted others to be steadfast was a consistent exponent of his own teaching. This would have great influence now with the elders of Ephesus.
1. Outward circumstances had no tendency to draw him aside. "None of these things move me." He could say, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep," etc. There was firm conviction, solid faith, calm rest, simple steadfastness.
2. His words stretched away into the future. As to themselves, see vers. 29, 30. As for himself, he would finish his course with joy. He had put his hand to the plough and would not look back. The prize was infinitely worthy of the work, the race, the fight.
(E. M. Houchin.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
WEB: But these things don't count; nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify to the Good News of the grace of God.