One cold February day a snail started climbing an apple tree. As he inched slowly upward, a worm stuck its head from a crevice in the bark to offer some advice. “You’re wasting your energy, there isn’t a single apple up there.” “There will be when I … More
Another warning came to Paul from a man named Agabus, who was a prophet from Judea (v. 10). He had prophesied that a widespread famine would affect the world (Acts 11:27-28) and his prophecy came true. He bound himself with Paul’s belt, using it as an object lesson, showing that Paul would face such a binding by his fellow countrymen and would be delivered to the Gentiles (v. 11). However this deterring sign of Agabus did not stop Paul for a single moment. There was even a united outcry by Paul’s friends and fellow-travelers for him not to go to Jerusalem, but the argument that he would be imprisoned did not impress him (v. 12). In spite of these warnings the apostle was determined to go on.
The grim statement of Agabus was Paul’s last warning, his last chance to turn back. Two great passions tugged at Paul’s heart; his passion for Jerusalem and his desire to see Rome. Paul says, “I am not only ready to be imprisoned, but even ready to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (v.13). At this point someone may say, “Doesn’t this show that he was anxious that God’s will be done in his life"? Not necessarily! Maybe the Lord wants you to live for Him. To stand in front of a firing squad may be easier than going to prison and living for years as a witness.
His friends and fellow travelers from the mission field pleaded with him, Philip and his daughters pleaded with him, and the other believers in Caesarea joined their voices to the general plea. However, when Paul’s friends saw that he was not going to change his mind about the matter they threw up their hands and said, “The will of the Lord be done” (v. 14). There will no doubt be times in our lives when we are faced with a situation like this that we cannot change, and all we can do is just turn it over to the Lord. From here Paul got ready to go to Jerusalem but he was invited to stay overnight in the home of Mnason before leaving (vv. 15-16).
I need to be very careful about telling the Lord I will serve Him and then refuse to obey what he has already told me in his Word.
While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, "Let the will of the Lord be done." After these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, bringing us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge.
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Acts 18:1-4Paul Adapts to His Audience
Acts 18:5-11Opposition Enhances Ministry Results
Acts 18:12-17Paul’s Roman Citizenship On Trial
Acts 18:18-23God Works His Will in His Servants
Acts 18:24-28Tactfulness–Words That Work Mightily
Acts 19:1-7The Holy Spirit is a Person
Acts 19:8-16Miracles Performed by Paul for Authentication
Acts 19:17-22Beware of Cult Practices
Acts 19:21-41Results of Religious Greed
Acts 20:1-6Discipleship Despite Difficulties
Acts 20:7-12When, Where, How & How Long to Worship
Acts 20:13-21Paul–An Example of Faithfulness
Acts 20:22-24Paul’s Determination To Go To Jerusalem
Acts 20:25-31Paul’s Warning to the Ephesian Elders
Acts 20:32-38Paul Shares About Giving
Acts 21:1-9Paul Warned By the Christians
Acts 21:10-16Paul’s Determination & Warning from Agabus
Acts 21:17-26Compromise Recommended but Refuted
Acts 21:27-36Disaster is the End Result of Compromise
Acts 21:37-40Boldness At the Barracks
Acts 22:1-5Paul Defense of His Heritage and Ministry
Acts 22:6-16Paul’s Salvation Testimony
Acts 22:17-21The Jewish Crowd’s Prejudice Against Gentiles
Acts 22:22-30Paul–A Roman Citizen
Acts 23:1-5Respect is Always Appropriate
Acts 23:6-11Comfort In Times of Trial
Acts 23:12-22A Plot to Kill Paul
Acts 23:23-35God’s Timing is Very Evident to Paul
Acts 24:1-9Paul’s Response vs. Reaction to Charges
Acts 24:10-21Paul’s Defense Before Felix
Acts 24:22-27Concern from Paul’s Friends & Foes