However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. (Acts 20:24)

MY SON ENLISTED IN THE MARINE CORPS as a senior in high school. During his final semester, he met with a recruiter every week for physical training in preparation for his departure for boot camp. He trained under the direction of a marine staff sergeant: sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups, and, of course, running. “How did it go?” I asked him after one particularly long session. “Not bad,” he said. “I only threw up twice.”

I realized then that my son had the one thing necessary for success in nearly any endeavor: focus. His goal was to become a marine, and nothing else mattered—not even his physical comfort.

Paul had similar single-mindedness in his pursuit of the mission. One thing mattered to him: preaching the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing else was important—not his finances, his reputation, or even his physical comfort. And Paul was successful. He took the gospel to new places, planting churches on two continents. His writings clarify and define our understanding of Jesus’ work. Focus. Paul had it for sure.

What is the object of your focus? Advancing your reputation? Earning more money? Living a comfortable life? You will likely achieve whatever you focus on. Set your sights on doing the work of Jesus in the world.

Name the top thing you hope to do today and ask, “How does this advance the gospel?”

Lawrence W. Wilson is a pastor, author, and blogger from Fishers, Indiana. He is the author of A Different Kind of Crazy: Living the Way Jesus Lived (WPH).