Highlights In Today's Reading:
The Apostle Paul goes to Macedonia (20:1) while headed to Jerusalem. At Jerusalem Paul is seized, beaten, and arrested (21:28-33). In Chapter 22 Paul as a Jew presents his defense before the Jewish mob (22:1-21); then he is taken as a Roman citizen (22:22-29) before the Sanhedrin (22:30).
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 die 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 (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 not to proceed to Jerusalem.
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 (Matthew 16:21-22).
With a determination which resembled 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's personal life was disregarded 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 Timothy 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 Peter 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:
Many people in the Bible began by determining in their hearts that they would obey God's Word without wavering. Do we have the same commitment? (See Daniel 1:8.)
20:12 not a little =b> greatly; 21:15 took up our carriages =b> packed our baggage; 21:24 be at charges with them =b> pay their expenses.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts for the week sponsored by Derek S. Ronnie • Government Official: Gov. John deJongh, Jr (Virgin Islands) • Country: Nauru (11,000) in the central Pacific • Major languages: Nauruan and English • Religious freedom • 57% Protestant; 24% Roman Catholic; 10% Buddhist and Chinese folk-religionist • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your decisions will always be to please the Lord (Psa. 73:24).
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 5:7