OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL...
DATE: THURSDAY 14TH DECEMBER 2017
THEME: PAUL WAS TRULY YOKED.
Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 21:13
READ: Acts 21:7-14
21:7 And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day.
21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.
21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
21:10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
21:11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
21:12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
21:14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:29
In the above scripture, Jesus mentions two profound things that will give rest to our souls, one of which is that we should take on His easy yoke. What is His yoke? It is that cross of self-denial we are required to carry as we follow Him. This refers to works such as these, which are integral to the Christian life: making sacrifices, giving, service, investment of time to pray and study God’s word, and soul-winning. One person who carried the yoke of Jesus was Paul. He understood what it means to be made by Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16). When he met Christ on his way to Damascus and he surrendered to Him, from then onwards, he never turned back. He joyfully sacrificed all his earthly achievements and recognition so as to pursue one goal in life: to know Jesus (Philippians 3:8)! He worked like no one else did. He traveled extensively across the globe just to serve his Savior, risking his life over and again in the process. When it was revealed that he would be bound and afflicted if he went to Jerusalem, with the brethren passionately pleading that he should not go, he responded with these words in Acts 21:13:
“…. What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Have you taken on the yoke of Christ to the extent that you can go anywhere, do anything and give up anything for Him?
In addition, Jesus said we must be ready to learn of Him. Jesus Christ can be likened to a well of knowledge that we cannot exhaust in our lifetime. Beloved, there is so much to know about Him. Have you ever wondered how the Holy Spirit gives you insight into a particular scripture, and by the following day, week or month, when you take up that same verse, you still receive a deeper revelation from it? Do you know that the Holy Spirit can give you deep insights into a verse of scripture from which you can produce 10 or more solid books from? Although Paul knew so much about Jesus, when he compared what he knew with what he was yet to know, he realized that he knew very little. For this reason, he made it his life’s goal to know Him. Do you know so much about Jesus and boast over this? Repent now, and commit to learning more of Him everyday till you meet Him in glory.
Those who went before us have left a great legacy for us; what legacy are we leaving behind for our children regarding the Christian faith?
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 14: TAKE MY LIFE
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.