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The Issue

The Issue

14 February 2010

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 23-24; Acts 21

Scripture:

We looked up the local disciples and stayed with them seven days. Their message to Paul, from insight given by the Spirit, was “Don’t go to Jerusalem.” (Acts 21:4 MSG)

Paul and his team were on their way to Jerusalem. At each stop along the way, there was a sense of deep concern for what this visit to Jerusalem would mean for Paul. Here in the seaport town of Tyre, prophecies came to Paul from the believers in the local church that he shouldn’t go to Jerusalem. A few days later, in Caesarea, Agabus the prophet dramatically tied his own hands and feet with Paul’s belt and prophesied that this is what the Jews would do to Paul in Jerusalem – arrest him and hand him over to “godless unbelievers.”

Here’s what happened next – 12 When we heard that, we and everyone there that day begged Paul not to be stubborn and persist in going to Jerusalem. 13 But Paul wouldn’t budge: “Why all this hysteria? Why do you insist on making a scene and making it even harder for me? You’re looking at this backward. The issue in Jerusalem is not what they do to me, whether arrest or murder, but what the Master Jesus does through my obedience. Can’t you see that?” (Acts 21:12-13 MSG)

I started this journal entry thinking about this: “What is the role of revelation in guiding the decisions and actions of a Christ follower? Is it to tell us what to do, or to tell us what will happen if we pursue a particular course of action?” Then as I thought through it further, it seemed as if the message to me today was more along the lines that it isn’t really about me or what is good or convenient or safe for me, but about my obedience and the longer-range and wider-scope effect my obedience will have. It’s about “what the Master Jesus does through my obedience.”

Prayer:

Father, in the years I have believed in Jesus and served your purpose, there have been seasons and experiences of revelation. Some of it has been promised blessing, some has been confirmation and assurance, and some has been warning of consequences. Please help me to be sensitive and open to receiving your revelation and at the same time clear on what is the real issue. It’s not about what happens to me, but about what the Master Jesus will do through my obedience. So be it.

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