Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting at the middle of page 440 (chapter 30) with the paragraph where we left off yesterday and it ends at the bottom of the same page, just before the transition on the top of page 441.
If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible: Acts 21:7-15.
How much faith do you have to count on God to know what’s in your best interest? In our story today, Paul was told by a prophet named Agabus who had come down from Judea that he would be bound by the Jewish leaders when He went to Jerusalem and would be handed over to the Gentiles.
Paul knew what that meant. He knew what he was in for. He knew that when he went to Jerusalem he was in for a judgment from the Jewish leaders that would ultimately lead to his death. He knew that this judgment would be against him for spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Not only was Paul aware of what this meant, but the people of the church at Caesarea also knew what the prophet was talking about. They pleaded with Paul not to go, because they did not want him to die. But Paul was prepared to go anyway.
Paul used this time with these people to teach them about faith in God. He used the opportunity to show them what it meant to rely on God for His plan to be done. He told them that he was ready, not only to be bound, but also to die in the name of Jesus.
How many of us would be willing to die in the name of Jesus? Many times in our daily lives, we think of being insulted as a Christian as if it were the same as being persecuted. But when we look to this situation and the example of Paul, it is clear that we are nowhere near the persecution that Paul would encounter.
So Paul testified strongly to his fellow Christians that he was ready. He made it clear that it was his honor to have served the Lord for His purposes. And He considered it an honor to suffer and die for the name of Jesus Christ.
With that testimony, he convinced the people of the church at Caesarea that he was doing God’s will. Once they saw that he would not be dissuaded, they left it up to God. They declared: “The Lord’s will be done.”
What an example for us in our daily lives! This is not specifically about us dying for the Gospel, although as Christians we should be prepared to do so. This is more about understanding that our God is the Creator of the universe, who sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem us and to save us from our sins so that we can be with Him in eternity.
Since God is God, and He knows everything, we need to be willing to place our lives in His hands. We need to pray that God’s will be done in our lives. When we pray that God’s will be done, we need to have faith that our heavenly Father knows what is best for us, even when we do not understand. When life is challenging and difficult, pray that the Lord’s will be done. And with that, you can leave your cares in God’s hands and He will help you.
Prayer: Lord, help us to place our lives in Your hands. Give us the faith to declare: “Your will be done, Lord!” We are weak vessels and it is often difficult for us to let go of control in our lives. Help us to have the faith we need to rely on You for everything in our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.