Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Dec 11, Acts 20-23

Today's readings are Acts 20-23. Tomorrow's are Acts 24-26.

Here's Paul's Third Missionary Journey, the last half of which is detailed in Acts 20-21:

Acts 21:4 can be challenging. Luke seems to infer that the disciples at Tyre were, through the Spirit, telling Paul not to go to Jerusalem. What we've seen, from the beginning of Paul's journey back to Jerusalem is that Paul is highly motivated, by the Spirit, to return in spite of warnings all along the way that he would suffer once he got there. Paul has been prophesied over and has, himself, admitted his time in Jerusalem would be most  difficult. Either hearing from others that Paul was in danger, or by receiving a divine prophecy through the Spirit, some supporters in Tyre try to dissuade Paul from going. This is not the Spirit now telling Paul not to go. It is people who love Paul, once learning what would happen, imploring him not to go.  Paul is resolute and continues on (Acts 21;5-6). The closer he gets to Jerusalem, the more clear the warnings become, thoroughly preparing Paul for what is to come.

When Paul arrives, everything plays out just as he had been told and ahs anticipated. The net result is Paul standing before the provincial governor, Felix. Paul, quite clearly in trouble, does what he always does, he shares the gospel. This is what he came to Jerusalem to do. Through divine providence, he does it with the highest authorities in the land.

Paul was not bind-sided by his ordeal in Jerusalem. God prepared him for it every step of the way. Likewise, we should not be blind-sided by trials and ordeals. God not only prepares us for them, but has meaning and purpose for them. Like Paul, the way we handle them, if we face them with faith, will give us an opportunity to share the gospel or put it on display for all to see!

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