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 Post Post subject: Devotions - Thursday, October 11th, 2007
Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:28 am 
Catspaw knows all

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Bible Reading: Acts 21:1-17

Are we spectators or participants? It is a question we can ask any person walking down the street about their life. Do we participate in life or do we watch it go by? Do we get involved in things, events, activities, adventures? Do we get out at all and take in the experiences of life in our city? Or do we sit at home in our own little bubble, interacting with the same people all the time, watching the world go by on our television or computer?

Now, take that same question and ask it spiritually. Are we spectators or participants? Are we watching the Kingdom of God from a distance; enjoying it from our armchair; reading the play book; yelling out instructions while we sit and do nothing? Do we get out at all, using our spiritual gifts to participate and interact in the Church and the world at large? Do we do more than attend church, conferences, Bible Studies and prayer meetings? Do we live this life in the abundance that Jesus promised?

If we loved Jesus we would. That is the clarifying statement in a Christian’s life. Do we love Jesus enough to step out from the land of the dead into the land of the living? Do we love Jesus enough to wake up from our slumber in the arm chair of life and get active in the calling we have received? Do we love him? Do we love him enough to act upon that love no matter what it costs us? That’s a good question and one that should not be hastily answered.

The apostle Paul loved him that much. The apostle Paul loved Jesus enough to do whatever he was directed to do even if the Church persuaded him not to. From before he left for his trip back to Jerusalem Paul knew that something was up. He knew that something was going on in the spiritual realms that would be played out through him in Jerusalem; and the Church knew it as well. The Church did not want to let this hero of the faith go:

“When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.” (Acts 21:12)

Yet Paul had a clearer vision and understanding of what was and was not important than most people are even willing to consider in this world today. Paul understood that our time in service here was only a time of training and the world was the training ground. He was willing to use his mind and body in any manner in which he was instructed by the Spirit. The Spirit warned, not so that Paul would turn back but instead so that he could prepare himself for what was coming. Paul was a full participant in this matter. He was not a coach who sat on the sidelines and yelled out instructions; he was a coach who played in the game. He set the Church right by simply declaring:

"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." (Acts 21:13)

That was how much Paul loved and trusted Jesus. He loved him enough to live his life to the fullest, trusting Jesus with the details. He got involved, willing to get muddy and tired, willing to get hurt in his heart and in his body. He was willing to take risk because of his love for Jesus. That is how he lived and that is how he died, trusting every single promise of the Father every single day of his life.

Are we spectators or participants?

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