Unstoppable! 'Seeking to Bridge the Gap Due to Misunderstanding' — Acts 21:26

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Our Donation Drive Ends Tomorrow!

We deeply appreciate your support.

Donate Now

[After being instructed by the leaders of the Jerusalem church to join in the Jewish purification ceremony of four men,] Paul went to the Temple the next day with the other men. They had already started the purification ritual, so he publicly announced the date when their vows would end and sacrifices would be offered for each of them.

— Acts 21:26 NLT

Key Thought

Yesterday, we focused on the leaders of the Jerusalem church and the pressure they put on Paul to participate in and pay for the purification ceremony for four men who had taken a vow. The leaders wanted to appease Paul's Jewish critics. Having come to Jerusalem hoping to weld together the hearts of Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus, Paul followed the leaders' instructions. This effort blew up in Paul's face. Rather than appeasement, the exact opposite occurred. Paul's Jewish critics from the province of Asia saw him in the Temple, and they knew he had come to Jerusalem with representatives from Gentile churches, so they accused Paul of violating the Temple by bringing Gentiles into the Temple (Acts 21:27-28). While I'm saddened by the result of what Paul did to appease these Jewish critics, I do believe what he did was submitting to the church leaders in Jerusalem and was consistent with the heart of someone who genuinely ached for all people to come to Christ, regardless of their race, social standing, or gender!* Paul's Christian ministry always tried to take into consideration the context of where that ministry was happening. He could live like a Jewish person or he could live among Gentiles. He sought never to offend because he wanted to win as many Jewish and Gentile people as possible to Christ.*

* Both sets of our Related Scripture Readings today emphasize this focus in Paul's ministry.

Today's Prayer

O Father, give me a heart like the apostle Paul for people who are lost. I want to imitate him in this passion just as he imitated the Lord Jesus' love for the lost.** Holy Spirit, increase your influence in my heart and will as I offer myself to be used to reach others seeking to know Jesus, especially the ones who do not realize that he is the one they are yearning to find. In Jesus' name and for his cause, I pray. Amen.

** This concept is taken from 1 Corinthians 10:33-11:1.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Romans 9:1-5
  • Galatians 3:26-29; Colossians 3:9-11

Comments

Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Saturday, October 9, 2021

A daily devotional featuring wise counsel found in Scripture.
"It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man."
Features the apostle Paul's writings turned into daily, powerful prayers.
"Dear Father, King of an eternal kingdom, You have made known to us the secret of your will, the purpose which you set forth in Christ as a plan for....."
The classic twice-daily devotional from Charles H. Spurgeon.
"In some sense the path to heaven is very safe, but in other respects there is no road so dangerous. It is beset with difficulties. One false step (and..."
A daily devotional featuring a Bible verse, thought and prayer.
"Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing."

Illustration

Illustration of Acts 21:26 NLT — [After being instructed by the leaders of the Jerusalem church to join in the Jewish purification ceremony of four men,] Paul went to the Temple the next day with the other men. They had already started the purification ritual, so he publicly announced the date when their vows would end and sacrifices would be offered for each of them.

About This Devotional

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.