Today’s Scripture Selection: Acts 23:1

Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.”

When you hear the word “duty” – what does it bring to mind?

I think of something along the lines of God, country, honor, duty.

I think of the military or the scouting program.

I think of words like fidelity and service.

But I have to admit, it took me back a bit when I read the bold assertion of the apostle Paul as he stood before the Jewish Supreme Court.

Can we be so bold?  To assert, unequivocally, that we have fulfilled our duty to God “in all good conscience to this day.”

I wouldn’t assert such a thing.  If the apostle Paul could do so, more power to him.

But it does get me thinking that we are all called to something that is very noble, very important, and perhaps very costly, when we assert that we are called by God.

To be a Christ-follower is no small thing.  Certainly it should not be seen as something self-serving.

We are called to duty in service to God and God’s kingdom.  Some may assert this is old-fashioned language, too militaristic in tone.

I understand that.

I also think duty is a large part of discipleship at its best.

Prayer: Lord, help me to fulfill my duty as best I am able, as your reign unfolds.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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