6 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Kings 17:1–18:12
Acts 20:1-38
Psalm 148:1-14
Proverbs 18:6-7

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Acts 20:22-24 (NLT): “And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”

Reflections from Scripture:

As we read Acts 20, we realize that the believers in Asia were warning Paul. The Holy Spirit was revealing to them that the Apostle Paul would experience prison and suffering if he insisted on traveling to Jerusalem.

Yet, we hear Paul’s heartbeat in the verses that I have chosen for today. Paul realized that the Lord had commissioned him to spread the Gospel far and wide when the Lord saved him. If fulfilling the Lord’s will for his life meant that he would face prison, persecution, or even death, then so be it. Paul determined that he would remain faithful to the Lord till the end. 

Clearly, Paul didn’t “get saved” and then live his life for himself. He recognized that when the Lord saved him, that meant that he no longer belonged to himself. He was fully aware that “God bought (him) with a high price” (1 Corinthians 6:20). So, Paul realized that he was to be about the Father’s business, not selfishly living his life for himself.

Friend, are you sold out to Jesus? Do you realize that when Jesus saved you that you no longer belong to yourself? Do you realize that your primary life objective is to “seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously” (Matthew 6:33)? Do you realize that seeking His Kingdom means that you will share the Gospel so that people can enter the Kingdom and enjoy and obey King Jesus? Are you willing to give your life to this eternally rewarding objective in spite of the hardships it may bring upon you?

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I realize that far too often, I live my life for myself. Sure, I’m grateful that You have saved me, but then I fail to acknowledge that You now own me, I belong to You, and I am to serve and obey You. Please keep me mindful that when I live for myself, I fail to give You the honor that you are due and I also fail to lay up treasures in Heaven to enjoy forever. Help me to experience the joy of living for You and especially sharing the Gospel so that others can enjoy You as well. Even if this brings trials and tribulations into my life, please remind me that it is worth it. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash