Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11, 2012 … Spirit-led … Surrendered Commitment

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 346

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Acts, Chapters 20-23 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passages: Acts 20: 21-24 : [NLT] … {Returning to Luke’s account of Paul’s last journey in Chapters 20-23 of the Book of Acts, we read of Paul’s obsessive dedication [see Acts 20:21-22 below] to his calling to share the Gospel with Jews first, but always also, everywhere he went, with the Gentiles, which was Paul’s primary Spirit-led calling.}  
21 I have had one message for Jews and Gentiles alike — the necessity of turning from sin and turning to God, and of faith in our Lord Jesus. 22 “And now I am going to Jerusalem, drawn there irresistibly by the Holy Spirit, not knowing what awaits me, 23 except that the Holy Spirit has told me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. 24 But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love.

Highlight Passages: Acts 21 : [NLT] … {In Chapter 21, which you can use the link above to study, Luke documents Paul ending his third journey and following God’s lead to Jerusalem from Asia-Minor, where he had been sharing the Gospel and seeing many, Jews and Gentiles, come to saving faith in Christ. And in Jerusalem he was confronted by Temple worshipping Jews who accused Paul of defiling the Temple by leading Gentiles there. And Paul was arrested by Roman soldiers to prevent a riot, just as had been prophesied for him earlier. Yet, even knowing this would happen with the potential of his execution, Paul was resolute to his calling. We know (from Acts 1: 8 and Matt. 28: 19-20) that all Christians have a “calling” [i.e., a commission from Christ Himself] to go and witness THE TRUTH in the world, making disciples for Christ, and teaching them of God’s word, wherever the Lord leads us. But are we focused and committed to this “calling” as was Paul’s example? }

Highlight Passages: Acts 22 : [NLT] … {In Chapter 22, Luke reports that Paul was allowed by the Romans to speak to the Jews outside the Temple … to try to quell the growing mob; and he did so by speaking in their own language. But after revealing his testimony and calling to Christ as his Savior/Lord, the crowd once again called for his death; but then Paul revealed – to the Romans – that he was a Roman citizen, which caused them to hold him in protective testimony until they could bring him back to the Jewish high council (the Sanhedrin) for disposition. }

Highlight Passages: Acts 23 : [NLT] … {In Chapter 23, Luke records, likely from hearing directly from Paul, that the Sanhedrin became split over Paul’s case; and Christ, in a vision, gives Paul assurance that he will soon give witness to Christ in Rome itself. And God moved in the hearts of the mob to move against Paul to kill him; but God also worked through the Romans in Jerusalem, knowing of Paul’s Roman citizenship, to send Paul to Caesarea by the sea, to avoid the mob and to have Paul seen by the Roman Governor of Judea, Felix, who was residing in that sea-side resort.} 

My Journal for Today: Today, I was taken back, in my chronological read, to the Book of Acts, … after having been reading and journaling through the letters Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth during his third missionary journey. And Luke, in Acts, Chapters 20-23, documents, in this chronology of Pauline travels, what happened to Paul when he returned to Jerusalem after this third journey. I hope you take the time to read/study through these chapters as I have today; because it helps one to appreciate just how resolute Paul was to his Spirit-led calling, … i.e., to carry out the “Great Commission” in Asia-Minor, especially bringing God’s truth to the Gentiles as well as the Jews in these regions.

As I wrote above in my journaling about these chapters, especially that related to Acts, Chapter 20, Paul was a model of a Luke 9: 23 Christian … denying self, taking up God’s cross daily, and resolutely following His Lord wherever God’s Spirit (i.e., Christ) would lead. It raises several issues which, in the Spirit, all “New Covenant” Christians must resolve.  

#1 – Are we truly Great-Commission bound disciples of Christ? … That is, … are we willing to “GO” and share the gospel truths, using our lives to “make disciples,” as Paul modeled for us?  

#2 – Are we Acts 1: 8 witnesses for Christ? That is, are we willing to share our testimony, as Paul did, wherever and whenever God leads us to do so, so that we can shine Christ’s light (after Christ’s command in Matt. 5: 16)?

And finally …  

#3 – Are we really living up to Christ’s exhortation, in Luke 9: 23, to be a fully-committed, fully-surrendered, disciples of Christ? As you can read in these chapters of Acts today, Paul modeled Luke 9: 23 everyday of his life after he became a born-again, transformed, Christian. How about you and me?

Well, my fellow Christian, there’s our 2nd Cor. 13: 5, pop-quiz of faith for the day. How are we doing … as disciples of Christ?

My Prayer Today: … Lord, … please continue to reshape me into a Pauline Christian, willing to surrender ALL to You, with You, and for You. Amen

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