Read Acts 20

Highlights:

One message (Acts 20:20-21). One destination (20:22). We all have a part in this job (20:28). Lift up the poor and weak; remember what Jesus said (20:35). Jerusalem and the brethren (21:15-25). People riot ; Paul arrested (21:26-36). Paul's defense (21:39; 22:1-29).

Once the Holy Spirit made it clear to the Apostle Paul that he was to go to Jerusalem, he headed in that direction even though the Holy Spirit revealed he would be imprisoned and possibly put to death when he arrived. And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them. . . . I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:1,22-24). Fearing for his life, Paul's companions and other Christians who had assembled in Philip's house urged their beloved Apostle Paul not to proceed to Jerusalem (21:8-14).

The response of the believers was similar to that of Peter when our Lord said to His Apostles: I must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things . . . and be killed, and be raised again. Peter had reacted by saying: Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be (Matt. 16:21-22).

With a determination resembling that of His Master, the Apostle Paul told his friends that death itself held no fear for him. One would naturally have expected Paul to be sad and occupied with his misfortunes. But Paul was not concerned about his personal life because of his love to please his Master.

Well-wishing friends will plead as did the church with Paul: "Surely, there must be some other way!" No, my friend, there is no other way to follow the Master.

The Holy Spirit was seeking to reveal that all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (II Tim. 3:12) and if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him (2:12). Peter wrote: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy (I Pet. 4:12-13).

And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying,The will of the Lord be done (Acts 21:14).

Thought for Today:

I gave my back to the smiters. . . . For the Lord God will help me . . . therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed (Is. 50:6-7).

Word Studies:

20:12 not a little, greatly; 21:15 took up our carriages, packed our baggage; 21:24 be at charges with them, pay their expenses.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of the Lord • Staff: Rita Guerra • Country: Fiji (813,000) in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: English and Fijian • Religious freedom • 41% Hindu; 40% Protestant; 9% Roman Catholic; 8% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Give praise to God that His Word will stand forever (Is. 40:8).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 6:13