By Kyle Lovern
November 15, 2013
Acts 20:22-24 22
And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
What amazing words spoken by an amazing man of God, Paul. When we study the New Testemant we see there is no better biograpny of one’s life than Paul. We read about Paul in the book of Acts and we read his letters, or Books of the New Testament to the people of Rome, Corinth, Thessaloniki, Ephesus. Philippi, Galatia, etc…
We also read his personal letters to Titus and Timothy. As we read these Holy Scriptures we certainly learn that Paul was a man who suffered. From being temporarily blinded when he met Christ while riding his horse to being stoned in Lystra, Paul exuded the epitome of suffering. Paul was born a Jew and had nothing but hatred and disdain regarding Christians. His name was Saul before he met Christ. Paul was part of the Jewish religion’s leadership and had a hand in the execution of Christians. But all of that changed the day he met Christ.
He became the most excellent evangelist of Christianity the Bible introduces to it’s readers. He gave up all that he had, his position in Jewish society and all of his worldly possessions to not only teach about Christ but live, again, a life of tribulations for Christ. We can read in 2 Corinthians 11:21-33 a small list of Paul’s tribulations.
Personally, I find Acts 20:22-24 to be some of my favorite scriptures but some of the hardest to have a mind to completely obey. This is what these Scriptures are saying. “Friends, I (Paul) am being taken to Jerusalem in chains and I dont know what is going to happen. But I do know it will be filled with terrible trials and tribulations because every city I visit the Holy Spirit is witnessing to people that afflictions are my future. But you know what, I dont care. My only care, my only duty, is to happily finish the work that Christ called me to, which is sharing His Gospel and God’s grace”.
I get chills every time I read this and again, while it is my favorite it is also my hardest to know I could 100 per cent fulfill. But we know Paul had such a close relationship with Christ, that none of the tribulations moved him, or, knocked him off from his foundation. I leave you this Friday challenging us all to be more like Paul. He took it literal when Christ said, “in this world you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer. I (Christ) have overcome the world”.
Readers, we all have trials and tribulations. Hurt comes to us all. Let us strive to live even closer to Christ than Paul and though we may be shaken, let us not be knocked from our foundation. Let us remember there will always be Strength for the Moment. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and give you peace.