“I do not count my life of any value”
“I do not count my life of any value, nor as precious to myself” (verse 24).
This is a total contrast to the attitude seen in nearly everyone today – and this can influence us. We are surrounded by those who live to serve themselves, especially their pleasures!
Paul reflects on how he had been among them
“serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials … I did not shrink from teaching you … of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (verses 19-21).
We note his emphasis on teaching a way of life, just as much, as making sure they correctly understood God’s will and purpose.
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ”
Paul tells the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:1). Our Lord illustrated this in his life; his love was seen by his actions, his spirit of compassion – even as they were leading him to the cross. His was the ultimate example that Paul was following.
When we say we are followers of Christ – how do we show what it means when we say this?
In the Old Testament we are reading the Song of Solomon; we can see this, at least partly, as an allegorical story illustrating the love between Christ and his bride and her response and seeking for him. Parts of the story illustrated this today when we read how the bridegroom says,
“I came into my garden, my sister, my bride” (5:1).
“He is altogether desirable. This is my beloved” (verse 16).
Christ will come into his garden when he returns to make this world a paradise, may that time come soon and may we experience the greatest possible joy in seeing our faith turned to sight.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35)
and the answer is nothing
“will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (verse 39).
Let us say, with Paul
“I do not count my life as one of seeking opportunities to serve myself”;
‘I will try, more and more, to be an imitator of my Lord’;
and see Paul as a special example of how to do this.