Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Well, I've got a couple things floating around in my head tonight.
First of all, we were discussing in Bible study tonight about Paul's pep-talk to the leaders of the church at Ephesus. One of the things he said in his discourse really stuck with me:
22“And now I am going to Jerusalem, drawn there irresistibly by the Holy Spirit, not knowing what awaits me, 23except that the Holy Spirit has told me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. 24But 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.
(Acts 20:22-24 - NLT)

It is interesting to me that the Holy Spirit drew him to go to Jerusalem but that same Spirit revealed to him that he would most definitely experience "jail and suffering". I wondered what made him able to go, knowing the trouble ahead. Then I read verse 24 and it all made sense.
Paul could obey the Spirits leading because he had abandoned his love of self. I don't mean that he hated himself, but he loved God more. It was that love for God that brought him to the understanding that his Christ-given mission (sharing the Good News) was more important than anything else.
This is a compelling passage to me because as a Christian I have the same mission- to share the Good News. JESUS WANTS ME!!!
I, Like Paul, will also become more and more driven to fulfill this mission the more I abandon my love for myself.
So I guess the implication from this passage is that I've got to make sure my priorities are straight. God first, others second and myself - dead last.

The other thing floating in my head was a song I heard tonight about God making us new and helping us to lay our burdens down. I am so glad he has made me new and he continues, by his grace, to mold me to his image.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (NASB)


Jace said...

Here is soemthing that helps me keep my priorities straight:
When you have Yourself, Others, Jesus in that order you have nothing. But when you have Jesus, Others, then Yourself you have J-O-Y!

Pastor Ray said...

Good point! I wonder what YOJ is. I hope it is something like "ingrown tonail" in an obscure hebrew dialect...

Terri Blair said...

I think I can leave a comment now. I'm not very computer literate - Miff! I love that passage you shared about Paul knowing that suffering awaited, and yet it was the Lord's will that he go.

The Lord's been impressing things like that on my heart SO much lately - that it may not be God's will for us to be "happy," but that God is good, even we're not happy.

Terri Blair said...

I forgot to say that the translation you used was really powerful.