Read it! Acts 21
Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I am ready not only to be bound,
but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Think it through
Acts 21 starts out with a description of Paul’s travels—some of the places he stayed and people he encountered. It’s easy to read over these words quickly, especially since we’ve never been to these places (at least I haven’t).
But read over Acts 21:1-8 again and really picture it. Think about the travel, the boats boarded and disembarked, the miles crossed. Imagine constantly meeting and staying with people you’ve never met. Consider the demands on Paul, physically, mentally, and spiritually. He must have been exhausted.
Even though my struggles pale in comparison, so many days I am tired. I get heart-weary from the evil in this world. Sometimes I ask Jesus, “When are You coming back?” So it’s no wonder that when Paul hears the Spirit-filled prophesy of his imprisonment and probable death, he basically says, “Bring it.” He’s been a faithful instrument of the God he trusts, and he’s ready to go when God decides he’s played out.
When we truly trust in God as Paul did, death loses its sting. This life is hard and tiring; Heaven will be glorious because we’ll be with God. We should all be saying, “Bring it!”—except that if you’re reading this, you still have work to do, just as Paul did.
Live it like you mean it
Just like Paul, you are God’s instrument and you’re not going until God decides you’re played out. What do you think God still has for you do here? What people in your life are facing death, not as a step toward God’s glory, but as a catastrophic end? I’d like to challenge you to write a prayer about this in your prayer journal.
When I think of death, my heart contracts in fear for some of the people in my life who, as things stand, won’t be joining me in Heaven. But even within that truth, I trust God. I am His instrument and I know He will keep me here until I’m played out.
Lift it up
Lord, You gave me a heavy topic today. You know my heart. You know that I’d love for You to come back and take me and my family to Heaven in glory. But You also know that so, so many of the people around me aren’t ready. As long as You keep me here, my work for You will not be done. Give me the strength to do it. Bring it. Amen.
Tell Me About It
What work for God do you have yet to do?
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