My hope is to encourage you every morning with insights from our reading plan. I pray that this is an encouragement to you. Please let me know what speaks to you today!
Read Acts 21
In Acts 21 Paul is bound and determined to go to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, he knows that he is going to face great persecution. He knew that everywhere he went, imprisonment, beatings, and even death faced him. This did not stop him from proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He faced everything with great confidence in Christ. In this chapter, there are a few things that I want to point out and implications for us today.
1. Persecution will come. Paul knew that no matter where he went, he was going to face persecution. This was something that was told to him when he became a believer. He knew that he was going to suffer for the sake of the Gospel. In many churches across America, they’ve been taught that if they trust in Jesus that everything will be wonderful. If they trust in Jesus he will make them healthy and wealthy. This is simply not the same Jesus of the Bible. Jesus said that if they hated me, they will hate you. Any Christian that seeks to make the name of Christ known, a true Christian, will be persecuted. We see this also at the end of this chapter when Paul is falsely accused.
2. Share stories of God’s Work. This is something that I don’t think that we do enough, I know I don’t. I’ve always been taught that you don’t brag. Paul went to the elders of the church in Jerusalem and bragged on what God had done. That God was to receive the glory, not Paul. As Christians, we need to celebrate the work of God. No matter if it is in our church or the church down the road or across the world, we need to celebrate. God is still working, He is still changing lives. Celebrate that fact!
3. Abstain from sin. Earlier in the book of Acts the Jerusalem council sent a letter on what the Gentiles were to do. A debate had broken out that Gentile believers needed to be circumcised to become a Christian. They debated and came to the conclusion that they didn’t have to be. They said that they should abstain from food sacrificed from idols, blood, strangled, and sexual immorality. Today the plea to abstain from sin is still present. As believers, our desire should be to live a holy life. A life that is pleasing unto the Lord. We should always evaluate our hearts and repent of sinfulness.
There is so much more that we could dive into this chapter. My hope was not to give you a commentary on this, rather encourage you to dive into God’s Word and find truths that speak to you who God is, what He’s calling you to do, and how you can please Him. Please continue to lift up Pastor Jamie from New Beginnings church in Brooklyn NY in prayer. He is truly in the epicenter of this pandemic. Losing friends to this awful virus. Please pray.