Good afternoon! My apologies I got off to a late start this morning and was unable to finish the devotion until now. Today we are starting in Acts chapter 21 and there are only seven (7) more chapters to go. I wish I could say, the story leads to a grand Disney ending but things in life do not always end that way. In most cases for believers, they end up better because the people we love/care about are home with the Lord, but for those left behind it is difficult to be without them. Join me today as we begin to read on Paul’s journeys on his way back to Jerusalem.
“After saying farewell to the Ephesian elders, we sailed straight to the island of Cos. The next day we reached Rhodes and then went to Patara. 2 There we boarded a ship sailing for Phoenicia. 3 We sighted the island of Cyprus, passed it on our left, and landed at the harbor of Tyre, in Syria, where the ship was to unload its cargo.
4 We went ashore, found the local believers,[a] and stayed with them a week. These believers prophesied through the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem. 5 When we returned to the ship at the end of the week, the entire congregation, including women and children, left the city and came down to the shore with us. There we knelt, prayed, 6 and said our farewells. Then we went aboard, and they returned home.” – Acts 21:1-6 NLT
Early in the book of Acts we discussed the church scattering due to the persecution of Christians/believers in Jerusalem. We also learned that many of the apostles remained in Jerusalem. We also read about the region of Phoenicia where the gospel was spread to Gentiles.
I could only imagine fullness of Paul’s heart when he saw with his own eyes how the Good News had spread through the area. His heart must have felt a since of purpose and gratitude to the Father and our Lord Jesus for an opportunity to share time with the believers and hear about the work of the Holy Spirit in those areas. While many were concerned about Paul’s future journey back to Jerusalem, Paul continued on toward the mission.
Sisters and brothers, we are also given a God-given purpose in life. Sometimes those things turn-out to be better than we ever imagined, and if we are lucky we will see the fruit of our labor, and yet – even if we do not see it we know God’s word never returns void. So while you are seeking the Lord this week – ask Him to guide you into your purpose, to lead you to be obedient to His will, and to give you the courage to stand for the Truth/Word of God even in the midst of opposition. There are people out there waiting to hear the Good News and there are other believers in need of encouragement. Do not be discouraged, the Lord loves you and has a greater purpose for your life. Trust God as he matures you in faith, trust him as he leads you into uncomfortable stretches of growth, trust him in the storms and sunshine, and praise Him through it all. There are other people who need to see God at work in your life – don’t give them a peek/preview, share how God has been with you even in times when you didn’t recognize his presence. Share the Good News. Pray for others.
Question to ponder:
- What type of fruit will you leave behind (e.g., self-focused or Christ centered)?
Father God, we praise and thank you for faithful servants who went before us, who experienced difficulties while serving you and yet, they remained/abided in you through all of it. Lord, because of you we have hope that no matter what you are with us. Lord, when things become too difficult to bear on our own, we ask that you constantly remind us that you are with us and we are never alone. Lord, that even when we are seeking new direction and new opportunities that we remain focused on what you are calling us to do – whether it is to sit and persevere or move where you desire for us to go. Lord, make your voice clearer than our emotions, our uncomfortable situations, and our desires. We want to align our will to yours. Lord, help us to remain faithful in drawing closer to you. Lord, we need you every day. Continue to heal the sick, the broken hearted, and provide comfort to those who are grieving. Lord, we know you are more than capable of managing everything in our lives so we surrender them all to you today. May our lives – past, current, and future show your faithfulness in our lives circumstances and bring glory to your name. In Jesus name, amen.
VIRTUAL BIBLE STUDY
Join us as we study lessons from the Bible through a video series authored by Priscilla Shirer. RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team will email you the Zoom link to join the study.
“Interruptions. They’re aggravating. Sometimes infuriating. But how we handle interruptions actually tell us more about ourselves. What do we do when God interrupts our lives? Many times, like Jonah, we run! Priscilla redefines interruption and shows that interruption is actually God’s invitation to do something beyond our wildest dreams. When Jonah was willing to allow God to interrupt his life, the result was revival in an entire city.” – Priscilla Shirer
- Location: Via Zoom (RSVP: email@example.com for the Zoom link)
- Begins: Wednesday, November 18, 2020
- Time: 6:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.
- We purchased the Jonah Video Bundle for Group Use. You will need to purchase your personal Bible study book.
- Bible Study Book: Jonah Navigating Life Interrupted. The author of the book is Priscilla Shirer.
Note: If you purchase your book online through LifeWay, you can subscribe to their website and get a 20% discount on your purchase. Here’s the link to the Bible study book via LifeWay: https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/jonah-bible-study-book-P005264295
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