July 19

Acts 21:1-14

In Acts 19:21, Paul gives his itinerary, saying, “after I have been there (Jerusalem), I must also see Rome.” Paul knew by the Spirit of God that God was taking Him to Rome, a city where Jews were told to leave.

Along Paul’s journey to Jerusalem, he found some Christians, and stayed with them. While with them, they knew by the spirit that something bad would happen to Paul in Jerusalem, so they urged him not to go.

Then in Caesarea, Paul stayed with a Philip, known as one of the seven from Acts 6 and 8. He had four young, unmarried women who were known to prophesy. Paul stayed with them several days, then a prophet named Agabus came to Philip’s home. He took Paul’s belt and used it to wrap up his hands and feet, prophesying Paul’s capture by the Jews in Jerusalem and turning him over as a prisoner to the Gentiles. Knowing the prophecy, the people urged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. However, Paul knew he was to go to Rome; God had a purpose for Paul to go to Rome. Paul was not looking for punishment; he was following purpose. If he had to face persecution, he was ready to do that in order to fulfill purpose. The people saw they could not persuade him, so they said, “The will of the Lord be done.”

God may ask us to fulfill a purpose that causes us to face hardships in this world. If we love Him, we will obey Him, even if that means we face challenges and opposition. We know God is good and wants us to prosper; however, we live in a fallen world. Trials and troubles will come just because we live in a place affected by sin.

We also know there is an enemy that fights against us. According to Ephesians 6, we are in a spiritual battle. However, we know there is a kingdom purpose that transcends our earthy comfort. Heaven is home; and we’re not completely home until our spirit leaves our earthly bodies. Paul looked forward to heaven, but he was willing to work to fulfill his calling until the day he departed from his body.

Life on Planet Earth is not just for our pleasure and enjoyment. Whatever blessings we have, they do not satisfy us apart from God. This world is not our home; we’re just passing through. What we do in this lifetime needs to be lived in light of eternity. What a hope we have in Jesus!

Like Paul, we have a God-given purpose, and it’s a purpose God wants us to fulfill. There is a wonderful way of living that is only found in dying to self. Let’s put our own interests aside to pursue His. Maybe God isn’t calling us to do something that will cause us to lose our life or spend it in a prison, but He is calling us to do something. Let’s go where God wants us to go, do what He wants us to do!

Psalm 28-30

Psalm 29 is traditionally recited in synagogues on the Day of Pentecost. Take notice of the mention of the voice of the Lord being over many waters. Up until Jesus came and ascended back into heaven, the Holy Spirit would come on one at a time. On the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out, He was able to speak through many, in different tongues, all at once. When many people are speaking at once, it is illustrated by the sound of many waters. This phenomenon is available to each believer today as well.

In verse 7, David prophesies that the voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire. On the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, people saw into the spirit and saw flames of fire over each person.

In verses 9-11, it is written the Lord will give be on His throne of authority, giving strength, or power, to His people. This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Before the Spirit was poured out, Jesus instructed His followers to stay in Jerusalem and to wait because they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came on them. Indeed they did, and so can we when we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 30 is a song that was sung at the dedication of the house of David. A home is a place of safety and restoration, a place to come to for sleep and rest for this warrior.

The spiritual significance of being “home” in a relationship with God is a place of belonging, where death has no hold on us. In God, we find life and healing (verse 2). We find safety from spiritual enemies (verse 1). In God, we have joy (verse 5). Even though the world represents a battle, coming home represents peace and prosperity (verse 6). When we worship God, we can experience a satisfaction that His Presence is the purpose for which we were created; when we are with Him, we are indeed “home.”

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