Good morning!
Text:  Acts 19-21; Proverbs 12:15-28
In Acts 20 we read about Paul’s farewell to the elders of the church in Ephesus.  He speaks of trouble ahead, and makes the statement,
” I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God”  (20:24).
Those are the words of one who has truly surrendered all to Jesus.  Paul intensifies this when, in response to advice to avoid Jerusalem where they will be gunning for him, says,
“What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (21:13).
After reading this in my Bible this morning, I began to think about myself. Is my heart that given over to Jesus?  If I were threatened, would I shy away, or would I lean in, assured and bold for Jesus?  My thoughts turned to a man from Mali (West Africa) who has visited us twice in the last few years.  For his safety I cannot tell you his name in this blog.  This man is the first Christian in his tribe and is now translating the Bible and preaching the Gospel.  He told us of a face-off he had in his village with a genuine, armed Islamist terrorist bent on killing him if he refused to deny Jesus.  The Lord had told him that the bad guys would be cast into confusion and that he could be bold.  That’s what happened. The terrorist backed off as our friend shared the Gospel with a hundred of his people – the first time they had ever been told of Jesus!
Today, this man continues to boldly proclaim Jesus.  Pray for him and all those like him who serve Jesus at the risk of their lives.  And pray that we would never give in to the fears we face.  May Jesus be glorified!
in Him, Mike