Friday, May 21, 2010

Acts 21:7-16

7 We continued our voyage from Tyre and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the believers and stayed with them for a day. 8 Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. 9 He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.
10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul's belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, "The Holy Spirit says, 'In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.' "
12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 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." 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, "The Lord's will be done."
15 After this, we started on our way up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus and one of the early disciples.

Questions to consider:

How do Paul’s friends feel about his going to Jerusalem? Why?
What is Paul’s conviction? Why?
When the advice of Christian friends conflicts with your own conviction, what do you do?
What differing views of suffering and trouble are reflected in this passage?

Possibilities for prayer:

Paul’s passion, conviction, and willingness to die on behalf of the message of Jesus is rather inspiring, but can also be rather frightening. Today, let’s pray against a spirit of fear or uncertainty that might find its way into our lives or hearts. Let’s ask for the strength and courage that God wants to provide us, and for God’s perfect love that drives out fear.