I come to You as my Father. I lay all my burdens before You, knowing You are the only one who can carry them.
Read Acts 21:27-36
 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him,  shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.”  (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.)  The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut.  While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar.  He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.  The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done.  Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.  When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers.  The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Get rid of him!” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you seen people shut their minds to the Gospel?
The crowd has been riled up with false testimonies (28), so an angry mob seizes Paul and drags him out of the Temple. “Immediately the gates were shut” (30). This physical closing of the Temple to Paul is significant: it suggests the spiritual closing of the minds of the mob, who were not ready or willing to hear about Jesus. The Jews had always been under threat as a people, something that continued long past biblical times (the Holocaust was less than 100 years ago), and here they believe they are fighting for their survival (28). As Christians we can sometimes find ourselves on the defensive, fighting to preserve our rights or our identity. When we are challenged about something we hold dear, what is our response? Do we take the time to understand it from all sides? It is easy for fear to close our minds and hearts. Fear tells us that new things are a threat to our faith and denies us the opportunity to be transformed by Christ.
Commit Jeremiah 17:7-8 to memory. Meditate upon God as the faithful source of your life.
Lord, help me to keep my heart open to You and to be rid of all fear. Teach me as I keep my heart set on You.
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