The Courage of Paul

Scripture: Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’ ”  When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.  Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”  When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”. Acts21:11-14 NIV

Observation: Paul’s followers didn’t want him going to Jerusalem because it would be dangerous for him there.

Application: Paul knew the danger he faced if he went to Jerusalem. Still he went and prepared to die if need be. Saul/Paul was a member of the Jewish leadership. He was a persecutor of the early church and the first Christians. Paul, the Christian missionary experienced much hostility from the very Jewish leadership ruling class that he had been a member of and yet he went anyway.  Do I have the same resolve for Christ as Paul?  I pray that I do. Do I?  Do you?  This is a difficult time in our history. I feel that Jesus’ return is soon. Many signs point to that fact. The persecution of the church is alive and well. I don’t believe that we, Christians, are in danger for our physical safety yet, but we are persecuted none the less.  Do we have it within us to go into this hostile world and take Jesus to the lost like Paul?

Prayer: Father, give me the courage of Paul to take Jesus to the world. Amen

After I completed this devotion I found this article from this past week, http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/news-from-around-the-world/two-christians-murdered-in-florida-for-sharing-their-faith-in-christ/.  It may be more dangerous for Christians than I thought.

Doug

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