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.”
Verse 12 – sometimes well intended people will plea with us – even to the point of weeping- to please make a different decision. The more they think we will suffer, the more they may plea. And when it comes to Jesus, they might not understand the logic of our conviction, willingness to sacrifice, and decision to suffer. Sometimes I don’t understand it either. But it’s through the love of Jesus and it’s good. Real good.
Verse 13 – Paul was so connected to the love of Christ that he was absolutely confident and fully grounded in his conviction for Christ. To the degree he was willing to die for Jesus!
I’m currently watching Netflix 5 star movie – Apostle Peter: The Last Supper. So far, incredible movie! There’s a scene – Peter, sitting in prison, witnessing to a guard. He was told by the Guard, “You’re a prisoner about to be crucified for your Jesus! He failed you!”
“You’re the prisoner, I’m free”, Peter answered.
Verse 14 – when we try to fulfill God’s will – He ensures we do.
Verse 12 – be prepared to stand up for what you believe in. Will you be wrong at times? You bet! Don’t become one of Satan’s favorite targets – those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.
Verse 13 – keep growing closer to God, be more obedient, and keep giving Him to others.
Verse 14 – keep trying. Persevere. Galatians 6:9 promises when we persevere, go through the noise, the garbage, the evil – we reap an abundant harvest!
Lord, on this Valentine’s day when love is so celebrated, I am tickled to be in love with you! But I can’t positively say like Paul or Peter, that I’d die for you right now.
It’s so easy to justify not dying for you, “The Lord knows my heart, he forgives me, grace, mercy, etc.” Or “I’ve got work left to do on earth, I don’t wanna leave my family, etc.”
It’s all true. And perhaps I’ll never be asked to physically die for you, Jesus. But I pray one day I’ll be so in love with you, so connected to you, that I’m 100% willing, anytime, anywhere, to die for you. Only you and I will ever truly know, Lord.
What an incredible bond and love that must be. Please help me to be more obedient and draw closer and closer to you, Jesus. In Jesus name I ask, amen.