How many persons have been moved to serve the Lord on some mission field only to become discouraged by warnings of difficult conditions and then return home without finishing the task? Remember Paul’s purpose statement about his life; “I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). What is your “if only” that governs and gives purpose to your life?
In chapter 21, Paul begins his journey to Jerusalem. Not even the warnings of the Holy Spirit that suffering lay ahead could stop this devoted servant or divert him from the burden laid upon his heart. Was Paul being disobedient to the Spirit? In the light of chapter 16:1-6 where he was clearly sensitive and obedient to the Spirit, I do not think so. Paul accepted the warnings and calculated them into his plan, but remained unmoved from his plan. Consider this attitude as you study this section of Acts.
Acts 21:1-16. Paul and those with him start their journey to Jerusalem in spite of warnings. The believers __________ to the will of the Lord.
Acts 21:17-26. The missionary team is received by the church at Jerusalem. On hearing the things God had done among the Gentiles, “they glorified God”.
Acts 21:27-36. Jews from Asia stirred up the whole crowd with an intent to kill Paul. He was arrested and brought into the barracks while a mob cried out, “Away with him!”
Acts 21:37-40. Undaunted by the opposition, Paul uses his Jewish background to ask permission to “speak to the people”.
This becomes a great illustration of a missionary who continually seeks opportunities to speak the gospel even though circumstances may be very contrary. This mindset comes from a strong personal relationship with the Author of Salvation and the Spirit of Truth.
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