- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read Acts 21
At the end of the third missionary journey Paul headed to Jerusalem.
His journey toward Jerusalem paralleled Jesus’ passion awaiting him in Jerusalem. Both Jesus and Paul, and all disciples, participated in suffering and pains for the will of God.
Paul faced confidently the incoming suffering that Agabus prophesized because of his assurance that “The will of the Lord be done.” (v.13-14)
As Jesus wrestled with God’s will for him in a prayer in Gethsemane, so Paul was in constant prayer with the churches. As Jesus’ disciples persuaded him not to go to Jerusalem, Paul’s friends persuaded him not to go to Jerusalem for fear of suffering. As the people shouted out “do away with him,” to Jesus, so the people followed Paul shouting, “Away with him.” (v.36).
Beth Jesus and Paul determined that God’s will be done facing passion and suffering.
From the life, teaching, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and from the life story of Paul during his missionary journey, we learn that to be empowered by the Holy Spirit does not mean to be shielded from all hardship, heartache and pain, even suffering during our faith journey in this world. “Only good things happen to faithful people” was a misleading notion in light of broad perspective in the stories in the Bible. Rather, to be faithful, to be gifted by the Holy Spirit must mean the gift of meaning in struggles, hardship and pain and the conviction that God empowers the people to get through them and that God can use whatever they encounter to be faithful to bring about God’s will and purpose. The story of Paul’s conversion, missionary journey confirmed it.
Jews accused Paul and the soldiers arrested him. But he was boldly ready to testify the Way.
“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (20:24)
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
- Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
- Live it out through the day.