Thursday, October 5, 2023
Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea. He came over, took Paul's belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, "The Holy Spirit declares, 'So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.'" When we heard this, we and the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.
But he said, "Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus." When it was clear that we couldn't persuade him, we gave up and said, "The Lord's will be done."
Paul had made it clear as he journeyed back to Jerusalem that his mission was to go to Rome and places beyond Rome that had never heard the message of Jesus.* Remember the passion of his words to the Ephesians elders in the previous chapter of Acts:
But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus — the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God (Acts 20:24).
Paul already knew from a previous prophecy that he would face difficulties in Jerusalem (Acts 21:4), but he refused to let that realization deter him. Now, Agabus and the disciples of Jesus who loved Paul warned him not to go to Jerusalem. Eventually, however, everyone realized Paul was convinced his mission meant going to Jerusalem and suffering, so they did what Jesus had done in the Garden of Gethsemane and basically said, "...I want your will to be done [O God], not mine." (Luke 22:42). Paul was willing to follow Jesus in the way of the cross. Am I? Are you?
* See our Related Scripture Readings.
Father, I know that you love our lost world so much that you sent Jesus to us to save us. Jesus, I cannot thank you enough, because you knew the cost of coming to our world, and you came anyway because of your love for us. I ask that you fill my heart with love, dear Holy Spirit, so that I will follow the examples of Jesus and Paul and so that I am willing to offer my life for the lost people of our world to know the Father's grace. In the name of Jesus, my Savior and the sacrificial Son of God, I pray. Amen.
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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