Agabus looked around the room, drew a deep breath, and delivered God’s message. The Apostle Paul, he announced, would soon be arrested and turned over for trial to the Roman authorities. It was possible — even probable — that the result would be a death sentence.
In response to this terrible news, the people begin to weep. Such a terrible sacrifice! Was it really necessary? Paul answers the unspoken question first with what could be seen as a small touch of humor. “All these tears are breaking my heart. Why are you weeping?” Can you picture the mischievous smile on his face?
Then he tells the believers that he will not be deterred by this news. Instead, he says, “I am ready not only to be arrested but to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Amazing commitment! Inspiring!
The believers try unsuccessfully to divert him, but Paul is fixed on God’s mission. If faithfulness to Jesus requires it, Paul will endure whatever is required, however small or large the sacrifice may be.
At length, the believers agree. “Let the will of the Lord be done,” they say (v. 14). The Lord’s Prayer includes the same words, “Your kingdom come, your will be done.”
The issue is never what we must give up; it’s always what we must hold on to. Faithfulness to the name of the Lord Jesus is our goal. We will not be deterred.
Trust in God’s will is the key to all sacrifice.
Lord, today I choose to hold firmly to your will in all I do, small and large, difficult and easy, whether receiving or giving up. Let the will of the Lord be done in me today! Amen.
Go deeper — Do you have an area in your life where trusting God is more difficult for you? Name it, write it down, and make it a point of prayer for the week ahead.
Photo Credit: Elaine Casap