God's Holy Fire: 'Tied Up in Knots'

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

After several days of visiting [in Caesarea], a prophet from Judea by the name of Agabus came down to see [Paul and his traveling companions and hosts]. He went right up to Paul, took Paul's belt, and, in a dramatic gesture, tied himself up, hands and feet. He said, "This is what the Holy Spirit says: The Jews in Jerusalem are going to tie up the man who owns this belt just like this and hand him over to godless unbelievers."
— Acts 21:10-11 MESSAGE

Key Thought

Courage is knowing the danger, and yet pressing on to do what we are convicted must be done even if our stomachs are tied up in knots. Paul demonstrates great courage. He has repeatedly been warned that great hardship, difficulties, arrest, and danger await him if he goes to Jerusalem. Nevertheless, Paul is absolutely convinced that he must go to Jerusalem, and from there, he must go on to Rome and other parts of the Roman Empire sharing the good news of Jesus (Acts 19:21; Romans 15:23-25). Paul makes his passion clear in the following words: "I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace" (Acts 20:24). Purpose and passion, empowered by the Holy Spirit, make us courageous to do the work of God in spite of clear dangers.

Today's Prayer

O Father, please give me a clear sense of my purpose and the passion to live out that purpose regardless of the consequences. Lead me and empower me by your Spirit so that I can fulfill your mission for my life and live that mission with integrity and courage. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.


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Illustration of Acts 21:10-11 MESSAGE — "This is what the Holy Spirit says: The Jews in Jerusalem are going to tie up the man who owns this belt just like this and hand him over to godless unbelievers."

About This Devotional

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.