Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Awesomeness of Paul

 22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace."
Acts 20:22-24
 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.”
Acts 21:10-14

This is among the passages we read in our youth small group tonight. It gave me goosebumps reading this. Paul being in a strong relationship with God, that he was so compelled by the Holy Spirit to do the Lord's will even to the point of death. His only goal was to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus had given him. Which was? Testifying the good news of God's grace!

I love reading Acts, I love Paul's letters, I love the example he leaves for us. We've been studying this in our Antioch class and it has revealed so much to me! The way the Holy Spirit uses him to advance the gospel and the confidence he has in the Lord says so much. Compare him to the Saul he was to the transformation after being saved....completely different! It is amazing what God can do.

Now dont get me wrong, Paul isnt God, he's just a man (not to sound like I'm worshiping him). What struck me into blogging about this, is that we talked about this in our youth small group tonight and I always find encouragement in hearing their words, witnessing the Holy Spirit work in their lives. I know the struggles they face in their daily lives, as teenagers and as followers of Christ but they understood this passage and saw the boldness of Paul and immediately applied it to their lives. I can see they are striving for God and to reach out to others. As Christians, we're given the command to go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of Lord. We're supposed to be sharing the good news to everyone! Whatever hardships may come, (which we know they will), we should have Paul's attitude..."to live is Christ, and to die is gain" as long as I am able to finish the race and complete the task the Lord has given me.

This is my prayer.. that we can have the confidence in God and be moved by the Holy Spirit in such a way that others will see God through us. That we can share the good news to everyone. That we can strengthen and encourage eachother along in God's will. That we can be the church...

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