Week 50 Sunday

Take Courage!

Today’s scripture selection: Acts 23-24

Key Verse: Acts 23:11

The turmoil was only intensifying.  Paul, the former Pharisee turned Christian evangelist, was stirring up trouble wherever he went.  Or, to put it more appropriately, the dark forces that would destroy the work God had begun, were stirring up trouble wherever he went.

Under confinement; hated by many; Paul no doubt needed a word of encouragement.  Who could blame him if he began to wonder if he had correctly understood his calling; if he was really on the right path?

That word of encouragement came from the Lord himself:

“The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, ‘Take courage!  As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.’”

It was only one of many other occasions when Paul would receive divine affirmation that it was no accident that he was on his way to Rome.  It was by design.  God had great purposes in mind – all would unfold – just as it should.  And, ultimately, though it would cost Paul his earthly life – it would secure his place, not only in history, but heaven as well.

We are not on the same path as the apostle Paul.  But we are on a journey with which God is intimately acquainted and involved.  His plan for each of us somehow miraculously works with our own unique personalities and gifts; our needs and desires; our sense of vocation.  And we accomplish what God would have us to do.  Or at least, that is the potential for each of our lives, should we choose to be “followers of the Way.”

So take courage!  Stay the course.  You do not travel it alone.

Prayer: Lord, show me how best to accomplish the work you have given me to do.  Give me the strength and courage to carry on until it is completed.  AMEN.



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