Wednesday, January 21, 2015



Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”  (Acts 21:13)

Do you like to read bumper stickers?  Perhaps you have seen this one: “Ask me about my grandchildren!”  The fact is, grandparents don’t need an excuse to whip out a wad of pictures and give glowing reports about the exploits of their little darlings.  I know that full well, since I are now anticipating the arrival of number twelve to someday call me, “Papa.”  It is easy to talk to total strangers about those we love.  So, why is it that we develop verbal paralysis when we have the opportunity to speak about Jesus?  If we love Him as we say we do, wouldn’t we desire to tell others about Him?  Let us be inspired to speak boldly of Christ by looking at the fearless walk of a faithful witness.  Hs name was Paul the Apostle.

It wasn’t that Paul was oblivious to the danger he was facing.  The same crowd in Jerusalem that had crucified Christ would not be any happier with him if he came into town and proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Yet, this was the very mission he had in mind.  It was enough to strike fear into the heart of the most courageous.

We must overcome the FEAR OF WHAT MIGHT BE.  “And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem.”  (Acts 21:4)  It was a vague warning with few specifics given—just a general alarm as the Holy Spirit spoke through His people, alerting Paul to the possible dangers that were lurking in the shadowy future.  Our minds may be haunted at times by the specter of what might be—where we just have this general foreboding and our brains are eager to fill in the blank with a myriad of possibilities.  We think, “I would share the Gospel, but if I do, then…” and any number of bad outcomes slams our mouth shut.  We want to know the outcome and have a positive one when we tell people about Jesus.  We have no assurance, however, that when we share the Gospel it will be well-received.  You never know how people will react.  That fear cannot be allowed to silence us. 

We also must defeat the FEAR OF WHAT MUST BE.  “Then Paul answered, ‘What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart?  For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’  So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, ‘The will of the Lord be done.’”  (Acts 21:13-14)  Some of our fears have a basis in fact.  Paul had submitted to the will of God—and that was he would suffer for the sake of the Gospel.  From the outset of his ministry he had been willing to pay the price.  Scripture is clear—Jesus said, “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”  (John 15:20)  Rejection by many is guaranteed.  Love for Christ and for others must override our fear.  God helped Paul.  He will stand by us if we stand for Him.

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