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Category:  Articles » Self Improvement » Motivation

 

One Very Hard Lesson To Learn

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2007-09-02 09:54:31     
Article by Sandy Shaw

We read in the New Testament book of Acts at Chapter 25, of how Paul, who has been so used to travelling, is now confined to the prison cell in Caesarea. Caesarea is a hot steamy humid place. This servant of Jesus Christ, who has been so used to the wide open spaces is now cooped up in a cage - a man who wanted with his every breath to tell the world about Jesus Christ and His Love and Mercy, yet, God allows people to keep him languishing in prison for two years - forgotten - out of sight - two years in prison without a single charge against him being proved.

Didn't that prophet Agabus prophesy this would happen? Ah but didn't Jesus also say something to His man? God will get His man to Rome in due time - His Way.

On this occasion, His perfect timing happens to include two years in jail. Learn the lesson. It is a very hard lesson. Would it be true to say that as we advance in the Christian Life the options become fewer and fewer - and less and less? We see this in the life and ministry of Jesus as He resolutely set His Face to go to Jerusalem - to die.

Those imprisoned for their faith today want the world to know about situations and conditions they endure. "Tell your people everything" - one man who had been imprisoned for years said to me in Inverness. That is what Paul did. That is what Luke did. That is what God wanted Paul and Luke to do - "Tell the people everything".

Let us never forget the suffering church. We are part of it in one sense, and always will be until we leave this world.

In this passage, Felix is replaced by a man called Festus, and Festus goes up to Jerusalem.

There the Jews meet him to inform him against Paul - not about Paul - but against Paul. They pleaded with Festus. Do us a favour. Send Paul to Jerusalem. We will watch for him coming, and set an ambush. We will trap him and kill him. These two years have not cooled these men's hatred. In this situation, time did not heal. Does it ever? Have you any evidence that it does?

Festus answered 'NO', but this request makes him rather puzzled about this man Paul. He wants to know what makes a man like Paul tick. Some may wonder about that regarding us - what makes us 'tick' - to use their language. What motivates you as you live out your life?

These two years in jail must have puzzled Paul. Would he not be wanting to get on the road to Rome? Was he not the type of man who wanted to get on with the business of preaching Jesus Christ? That is what we see from the very beginning when he is converted and Born Again in Damascus.

Why all this delay? Being patient - especially while in prison - especially while being limited or restricted in witnessing and preaching and teaching - especially while waiting upon God's Timing - is never easy.

God is showing us through these verses just how difficult serving in the kingdom can be at times. It is fraught with delays, obstacles and oppositions of all kinds. Is there something delaying you at this present time. Are you confronted with obstacles and opposition which surprise and perhaps frustrate or even annoy you? It has always been so and always will be so until Jesus Christ returns. Never lose sight of the coming again of Jesus Christ. Never never forget that Jesus Christ our Saviour is coming back to sort everything out. That is a part of the glorious Gospel which we sometimes overlook. Let it comfort you and fortress you if you are going through a difficult time.

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.

His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.

Specialized in: Bible - Study - Tools - Resources - Reference - Church - Sunday - Sermon - Preparation - Commentary - Concordance - Dictionary - Encyclopedia - History - Early - Fathers - Jesus - God - John - Moses - Disciple - Mary - Joseph - Messiah - Savior - Salvation - Heaven - Hell - Faith
URL: http://www.studylight.org
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