SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Paul continues his journey towards Jerusalem, facing all kinds of opposition along the way. He is warned that even worse (including death) awaits him, but asserts that he is willing to die for Jesus.
- We see, in verses 17-26, that Christianity is still very new and experiencing growing pains. New issues are arising ("Do Christians need to circumcise their children?" "Do they need to follow Jewish customs?") and the early Christian leaders are seeking to figure things out.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- In America, we don't experience much (if any) persecution or opposition for being a Christian or for living out or sharing our faith as Paul did back then. But there are many Christians around the world today who are persecuted (some are even killed) for their faith. We should pray for them.
- No one likes to be persecuted, but it does tend to fortify a person's faith. Because American Christians don't experience any opposition it's much easier to have a complacent faith where we may believe, but aren't passionate about Jesus and sharing him with others. However, that's not an option. Jesus made it clear that to follow him means to be all in with loving God and people.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- If you were persecuted for your faith, would you stay true to God? Are you willing to overcome any obstacles or opposition to share your faith with others so they can know Jesus? Having a relationship with God, and helping others to have a relationship with God, is what life is all about. Don't settle for anything less. If you want help with that, our Verge course starts this Sunday night, and you can sign up for it today!