Today’s Deeply Rooted Devotion is from Acts 20-23.
“After staying for some time, Paul said farewell to the brothers and sisters and sailed away to Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. He shaved his head at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken. When they reached Ephesus he left them there, but he himself entered the synagogue and debated with the Jews. When they asked him to stay for a longer time, he declined, but he said farewell and added,“I’ll come back to you again, if God wills.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.” Acts 18:18-21
“The following night the Lord stood by him (Paul) and said, ‘Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.'” Acts 23:11
When we are fully convinced of who Jesus is and what He has done we will be obedient and passionate about Him.
Acts 20-23 describe several stops on Paul’s missionary journey that conclude with being imprisoned in Jerusalem. Throughout these missionary journeys and trying events, Paul displays an undivided focus on sharing the gospel. Paul is fully convinced of who he is in Jesus Christ and what Jesus has done. This firm foundation of confidence in Christ fueled Paul to faithfully share the gospel even in the midst of trying circumstances.
Paul was able to be obedient to Jesus in the midst of chains because His love for Jesus was not dependent on the circumstances around him.
Try to avoid skimming through these chapters. They chapters are more than a walk down memory lane. Paul lays out for us how to serve the Lord for the good of the church. Go back and read Acts 18:9. This verse shows us that Paul was a servant leader, deeply involved and connected to the people he served, and was faithful through trials. These are to be characteristics of our walk with Jesus. Paul was able to be obedient to Jesus in the midst of chains because His love for Jesus was not dependent on the circumstances around him. It was in these circumstances of chains that God reminded Paul that He is always at work to empower Paul to preach the gospel. God’s work and Word will strengthen our faith as well.
- What distracts you from a focus on Jesus Christ? What tempts you to shift your passion and obedience away from Jesus? Identify these things, confess them to Jesus, and intentionally make a change to reorder your life/day away from those things.
- Thank the Lord for His work and Word in your life. How often do you place yourself in a position to hear from the Lord from His Word? Commit to make space in your day to abide with Jesus on a regular basis.
Tomorrows Deeply Rooted Devotion will be from Acts 24-28.