Day 32

Paul’s Determination to Reach Jerusalem

from the Acts reading plan

Acts 21:1-36, Matthew 5:11-12, John 19:13-16

BY Abby Flynn

Crowds shouting accusations. Soldiers exerting their force. A violent crowd hurling insults. Calls for putting an innocent man to death. When we see Paul in Acts 21, the events feel pretty familiar, almost like we’ve been here before. The last time was when Jesus was accused and hung on a cross.

The thing about Paul is he had countless people in his life tell him not to go to Jerusalem before he went. It was other believers—a prophet, disciples, and his friends, all warning him not to do this thing that they feared would lead to his death.

And yet, Paul goes. He tells them that the issue is not what the people in Jerusalem will do to him. The important thing is what God wants to do through his obedience (Acts 21:12–13).

Paul says, “I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (v.13). He was committed to bringing the hope of Jesus to the Gentiles. When Paul goes into hostile territory with the hope of the gospel, it reminds me of what we’re all called to do in the first place.

If we consider ourselves to be Christians and followers of Jesus, we’ve been called to go into all the world and preach the gospel. That doesn’t mean just going where we’re comfortable, or where we’re well received. It’s a guarantee that we will face suffering and persecution because of our faith. If Jesus is our example, if we truly want to follow in His footsteps, then we are blessed when we’re persecuted and treated badly because of the boldness of our faith.

People may make false claims about us. There may be whispers or words of hate because of what we believe and whose we are. But our reward in heaven is greater than anything we can imagine here on earth.

Sometimes I need the reminder that this world is not our home. It’s not our final destination. We are headed for glory. And in the meantime, our job is not to be comfortable, happy, or loved by everyone. Our job is to share the hope of Christ. In some places, this will make us outcasts. Some people may look down on us or discredit us because of what we believe. That’s okay. We’re blessed.

God, help us to be more like Paul today. We pray for opportunities to give an answer for the hope that we have in You. Give us your strength and the boldness to live out our faith today, regardless of what the consequences might be. 

Post Comments (38)

38 thoughts on "Paul’s Determination to Reach Jerusalem"

  1. Susie H says:

    Lately I have been praying for “uncontainable revival” for the whole world. It is evident that things are changing in the world and I came across this phrase, I believe, in a SRT podcast and it has stuck with me. Would you consider praying with me for an UNCONTAINABLE REVIVAL for our broken world?

  2. Kathy says:

    I heard a quote the other day.
    “It costs us nothing to become a Christian. But to live like one will cost us everything.”

    Also, last week I asked you to pray for one of my high school students who was really struggling emotionally and mentally. Thank you so much for praying. He is doing much, much better. He’s talking to our counselor on a regular basis. He came in this morning and told me he had been given a promotion and a raise at work. He was so excited.
    Have a blessed day, sisters.

  3. Karen S says:

    @ANGIE Your post gives me food for thought as I work through wanting my comfort and letting my “sunshine attitude” slip into something not so bright and cheery. I will pray with you that He will sanctify my attitudes and actions as I try my best to walk in obedience.

  4. Sarah Ritchie says:

    Beautiful as always Angie

  5. Adrienne says:

    Good morning, sisters! God is SO working on me already today. I posted on Day 30 about how hard it is for me to keep up here. But today, I am reading this morning! I have more clarity in the morning, so I hope to continue getting out of my warm bed. (Talk about comfy, right, Angie?) I have never noticed before… how Paul was such a persecutor of the faith, and now HE is being persecuted. (I always noted how he was a big, fat persecutor, then became such a proclaimer of Christ crucified. But PROCLAIMING versus being PERSECUTED…) Isn’t it amazing how we can take different learnings at different times? The Holy Spirit is SO working! Have a blessed day, she’s!

  6. Nancy Singleton says:

    ERB & Melanie, praying for you both this morning.

  7. Kelly says:

    Abby, Poppy, and Searching AMEN

    “our job is not to be comfortable, happy, or loved by everyone. Our job is to share the hope of Christ”

    Thankfully Jesus does not fire us when our “job” performance is lacking. He knows what we are made of…

    ERB – sorry to learn of your struggle, praying for you.

  8. SarahJoy says:

    For me to share my faith with the potential of rejection is a huge leap. My tendency for approval and harmony causes hesitancy. May I speak when the door opens to the glory of God.

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