Had an awesome Bible study last night with the youth! We hung out in the Book of Acts, chapters 20 and 21. We focused on Paul leaving Ephesus for Jerusalem. 3 verses…22-24…check it out!
“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jeruusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 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, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
One of my favorite authors, Bill Hybels, in his book AXIOM, says that this passage of scripture WRECKS him every time. I concur. I love Paul. I love his story. To go from persecuting Christians to a radical conversion to being a sold out follower of Jesus Christ is amazing. When Paul responds to God’s call on his life to go to Jerusalem he was leaving what was comfortable, easy, and familiar in Ephesus. His friends and his life was in Ephesus. Even crazier is the prophet that he encounters on the way to Jerusalem, who rips off Paul’s belt and ties HIMSELF up to give Paul a better visual understanding of what is about to happen to him. Paul does not hesitate in staying the course with Christ. Paul encountered a lot of forks in the road. He came to places where he had decisions to make. Who was he going to serve? Himself or others? Paul was a sold out Christian. He owned his faith. He wasn’t going to take the easy road if it meant not following Christ.
I believe that our lives are a lot like Paul’s. Although everyday we aren’t called to go into places where our physical life is on the line for Christ, we are representing Christ everywhere that we go. If we claim Christ and desire to follow him with all of our hearts we need to understand that people are watching us. When you go to the movie theater and you haven’t chosen the movie you are going to see, you have reached a fork in the road. What you choose to see will be in your mind and your heart and will affect your faith. When you are standing in front of a rack of CD’s at the mall trying to decide what you will purchase you have reached a fork in the road. What will you allow to influence you? You see some students making fun of a younger student at school, you hear God’s voice, you have reached a fork in the road. What do you do? The road less traveled is challenging, more painful, and usually involves more tears. It also provides greater experiences, a deeper faith, and unbelievable joy in serving Christ! As you travel through life you will find yourself at many different forks in the road. Some are larger and more important than others. All are significant though. Choose carefully. Do you own your faith? Or does the “Jesus” thing only happen when it is convenient? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.