But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.”
I can’t say that I “do not consider my life… as dear to myself.” I would like to, but as things stand now, Paul has reached a greater level of sanctification than I have.
Our natural tendency is to value life so greatly that we miss our purpose for being alive. While being held captive by this concept, you’ll never truly experience abundant life… even if you’ve discovered God’s purpose for your being. What Paul has so effectively done here, and what you and I must strive to achieve, is a life conformed to God’s purpose rather than the constant conforming of God’s purpose to your life.
Paul’s purpose was simple. Yours and mine will not differ that greatly. He was ordained to “testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” It was the first thing on his mind in the morning. It was why he went to the local market, why he voluntarily stayed in prison, and why he demanded an audience with Caesar. Paul understood his purpose and he would not allow his personal desires for life to become an obstacle to completing his purpose.