Paul said that he was compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem, not knowing what would happen to him there. He said, “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 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” (See Ac. 20). Awesome!
A prophet named Agabus prophesied that the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem would bind Paul and would hand him over to the Gentiles. So, Paul’s friends and fellow believers in Jesus Christ pleaded with Paul not to go.
And, that is when Paul said, “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” (See Ac. 21). And, Paul was indeed seized and beaten, and they tried to kill him. He was bound with chains and was taken to the barracks. On the way there he asked the commander if he could speak to him. And, he was given permission to speak.
So, he took the opportunity to share his testimony of how he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, and of Jesus’ calling upon his life. Acts 26 expands on this more when Paul again shared his testimony, at which time he shared specifically what God had called him to do – to open the eyes of the spiritually blind, turning them from darkness (sin) to the light of Christ, and from the power of Satan to God, so they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ.
And, that truly is the calling of every disciple of Christ, as Christ commanded us to go and to make disciples of Christ of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus’ commanded us.
I find great encouragement in this story, as well as a challenge to my own personal life to be truly ready to suffer and to die for my testimony for Jesus Christ, as well as to share the attitude of Paul that my life is worth nothing to me, but my only aim is to finish the race and to complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Amen! I pray I will always keep this focus in mind.
An Original Work / June 19, 2013
Based off Acts 20-22, 26; Mt. 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8
Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I’m fully ready to suffer for Christ.
If I must die for the sake of His name,
I am convinced it will not be in vain.
Glory to God and to His Son Jesus,
Who has redeemed us; bought with His blood.
May I speak to you? Jesus came to me;
Asked of me, “Why do you persecute me?”
He said, “Now get up and stand on your feet.
Go, and you’ll be told all I have for you.
I have appointed you as a servant,
And as a witness; you have been sent.”
“Go into the world and preach the gospel.
Open the blind eyes. They will receive sight.
Turn them from darkness to the light of Christ;
From power of the evil one to God,
So they may receive forgiveness of sins,
And a place among those who’re in heav’n.”