Facing the Storm
Savior, I lay my life before You. Help me to stay upon the altar and trust You even when the fires burn the sacrifice.
Read Acts 21:1-16
 After we had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Kos. The next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara.  We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went on board and set sail.  After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed on to Syria. We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo.  We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.  When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray.  After saying goodbye to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.  We continued our voyage from Tyre and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed with them for a day.  Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven.  He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.  After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.  Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.'”  When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.  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.”  When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”  After this, we started on our way up to Jerusalem.  Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus and one of the early disciples. 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.
ReflectWhat do you think is motivating Paul?
Paul’s impending hardships are foretold over and over, in Tyre (4), and in Caesarea where the Spirit enables the prophet Agabus to go so far as to show Paul how he will be bound (11). Everyone pleads with Paul to stay away from Jerusalem (4,12), but he will not change his mind. Paul, like Jesus, knew that he was called to Jerusalem and was ready for what was to come (13). He knew his ministry would not be able to continue without it. If we were the friends surrounding Paul, what would we say? Would we beg him to stay, or encourage him in his dangerous mission? Would we be more concerned with the health and safety risks, or God’s calling? When we become Christians, God doesn’t promise us a life free from hardship. What we are promised is that God will never leave us in that hardship, but will be right there beside us, comforting us in the moment (Psa. 23:4), and longing to bring us to a better place (Psa. 40:2).
Consider what cost you would be willing to pay for the Gospel. Would you follow God into danger and suffering?
Lord, You have gone before me. You do not call me to anything that You have not passed through. I will follow.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.