Acts 20 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there, except that in town after town the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me. But I count my life of no value to myself so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the L_rd Yeshua, to testify to the gospel of G_d’s grace.” Acts 20:22-24
Remember Jeremiah 29:11? “G_d has plans for us that are not to harm us, but to give us a future and a hope.” This is comforting news, especially when we feel all hope is lost. But how does that jive with the L_rd’s plan for Paul? Chains and afflictions aren’t positive images. Could it be that our 21st century Messianic culture has lost what it means to suffer for hope?
We are certain of four things, concerning G_d: He is all knowing, ever present, all-powerful, and His character never changes. That means there is NO dilemma you’ll experience that G_d is unaware of, isn’t standing along side you through, doesn’t have the power to sustain you to the end, or will renegotiate His promises to you.
So, why do Kingdom-pursuant believers suffer?
You might recall that Yeshua said, “A servant is no greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also.” John 15:20
There’s a promise we seldom claim with boldness! No rational person wants to suffer. As General George S. Patton once said, “No fool ever won a war by dying for his country. You win wars by making the other guy die for his country!” No disrespect to General Patton or our fallen heroes, but Patton was speaking of earthly wars…we are engaged in spiritual warfare. Our field of battle stretches into eternity. Death is not the end game. It is the ultimate beginning, and “Where will we spend eternity?” is a more important question than, “How are we going to preserve our quality of life on earth?”
Yeshua conquered death, so that we might serve Him with our whole lives…even unto & beyond death. The hope of the resurrection fuels the servant’s willingness to suffer in this life. Sacrificial service fuels revival.
Yeshua promised, “…I am going to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to myself so that where I am, you may also be.” John 14:2b-3
With confidence that Yeshua is prepared to receive us into His heavenly kingdom, and without regard for this world, let us focus our sights on the mission at hand: To know God & make Him known, that others may know Him too.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Tuesday, August 6, 2013