“When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, ‘Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’ When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, ‘The Lord’s will be done.’” (Acts 21:12-14)
Personal safety and security do not occupy the followers of Christ’s mind. Kingdom business is in the forefronts of their minds. Kingdom business is the focus, and Paul demonstrated the same kind of commitment that Jesus expressed in His Gethsemane prayer. God’s will, not human precautions, determined his actions from this time on, as it ought to be our focus as well.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You call us to serve, and our answer should always be, “Send me.” Way too often, we stop to consider what it is that we need to do, when we already know the answer. Our service is not to earn a pat on our backs, it is to honor the commitment we made through our faith in God through Your Son, Jesus. He committed all and we can do no less. Send me, Lord, allowing me to honor my commitment to You, for there is not enough work we could ever do to earn our way into the Kingdom. You have given it to us as a gift, by accepting Jesus as our Savior. Let our worship then flow out of grateful hearts. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light.”
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” (Mark 14:36)
In this prayer, Jesus used the Aramaic word, “Abba,” to address His Heavenly Father. I have added this term to my prayers, when I committed myself to God through His Son Jesus Christ and I recommend it to you as well. This term in not lacking in respect but full of affection.
Jesus’ commitment to the will of the Father is to the basic characteristic of the kingdom of God. Such commitment makes the sovereign rule of God a reality in the lives of His people.
“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.’ This he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” (Matthew 3:1-3)
John the Baptist announced that something new was about to begin: the reign of God through the ministry of Christ. Those who want to relate to God and experience the immediacy of the reign of John the Baptist made that clear. His call for repentance still needs to be heard today. No one is ready to come under the sovereign rule of God until there is a change of attitude and action with regard to sin and service. There must be a willingness to give up everything to experience the reality of the kingdom of God through the immediacy of Christ’s ruling authority.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“So don’t not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:31-33)
A Christian’s first priority is to seek, find, and follow the will of God. That is the way God’s kingdom advances. The kingdom of God is a dynamic reality, not a static idea. It is God breaking into history to redeem and rule all who will accept responsibility for living under His rule. He is willing to give the kingdom to all who are willing to make a covenant with Him through faith in Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord. I pray this is received and understood, for though it sounds simple, we as human beings seem to try and make this harder than it really is.