About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
I am often
motivated to write articles based on things I hear people say, which is
the case with this article. People
inevitably say that they will not allow a terrorist attack to intimidate
them. They will carry on with
life because if they don't, they will lose and the terrorist will win.
The Apostle Paul
was one who would not be intimidated.
Despite the many prophetic warnings of hardships and imprisonment
heard on his way to Jerusalem (Acts 21:4) Paul would not be diverted from his mission. In
Acts 21:10 and 11 the prophet Agabus predicted Paul's arrest and
imprisonment. Without a doubt,
Paul understood the perils that he would face when he arrived in
Jerusalem. Acts 20:23 says this:
"I only know
that in every city
the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me ..."
The Holy Spirit,
through various prophecies, warned Paul of pending trouble, but He did not
tell Paul to change his travel plans.
With intentionality, Paul proceeded to
"I am ready
not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem
for the name of the Lord Jesus.'"
Was Paul stubborn
or was he intentional? However
you answer this question, we can agree that nothing would detour Paul from
traveling the road of God's will for his life.
Even after being thrown into jail and then given the opportunity to
be released, with impressive intentionality he used his rights of Roman
citizenship to demand a hearing in Caesar's court.
I love how Paul made his appeal as recorded in Acts 25:11.
I picture him with quiet confidence and in matter of fact fashion
saying "I appeal to Caesar."
He had no mental debate, no hesitation, or no praying it through as
we called it years ago. He
simply announced, "I appeal to Caesar."
Why would Paul
choose to spend the years of trouble and turmoil that would lead him to
Caesar? Why didn't he just
take the easy way out and accept his release so he could preach the gospel
across the countryside? Acts
9:15 and 16 answer this question. It
is there we learn of God's mission for Paul.
[Paul] is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and
their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he
must suffer for my name."
From the beginning
Paul knew he would preach the gospel to the governing authorities of the
Paul, we will not allow trials, sickness, cultural conflict, or anything
else, to intimidate us. We
will, with purpose-filled, Holy Spirit inspired, motivation accomplish the
mission that Jesus has designated for us.