Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
In Ephesians 6 Paul calls himself an ambassador for the gospel. To which capital city was he posted? And what residence did they provide? This ambassador was posted to Rome, and his residence was a prison.
As a prisoner wrote to the Ephesians, “Pray for me. . .that I may fearlessly make known the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains” (Eph 6:19-20).
I have wondered about Paul’s wisdom making the journey that landed him in jail. In every city he visited, the Holy Spirit warned him that’s exactly what would happen. Listen, and marvel, at his attitude: “My life is worth nothing to me; my aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me. . .” (Acts 20:24). Paul’s life was worth nothing to him? What is your life worth to you?
Paul heading obstinately for Jerusalem echoes Jesus who said, “I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!” (Luke 13:34).
What’s with these prophets, drawn irresistibly to Jerusalem to flirt with death and imprisonment?
Paul’s stay in Jerusalem was eventful. The Jews accused him of temple sacrilege. When they tried to kill him, the Romans threw him in prison and spirited him away to Caesarea. Felix, the Roman governor of Caesarea, wanting to placate the Jews, kept Paul in prison for two years (Acts 24:27).
Festus, who succeeded Felix, ordered a new trial for Paul, during which Paul appealed to Caesar. Festus’ friend King Agrippa, after reviewing the evidence against Paul, said, “This man could have been set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar” (Acts 26:32). So they sent Paul to Rome where he preached the gospel as a Roman prisoner under house arrest.
Was it wise of Paul to go to Jerusalem despite the warnings? Was it helpful to accept Roman protection and appeal to Caesar? A modern life coach would probably have told Paul to set reasonable goals for his life and ministry. Perhaps Paul could have lived a quiet suburban life writing his memoirs.
Our father, few of us manage our lives the way life coaches recommend. And we who have tried the management advice soon descend into mismanagement and chaos.
Scripture teaches that the cross was essential to Christ’s journey, and that you, God, were Paul’s companion on the long road to Jerusalem and Rome.
Take these wandering lives of ours. Give them meaning by the light of the gospel and the grace of your spirit. Be our life coach. Be our wisdom and righteousness (1 Cor 1:30).
I’m Daniel, on the channel “Pray with Me”.
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