Sunday, January 13, 2013

Advent Archive: Acts 21

Many people think that if you live to please God, He will enrich your coasts and you will live a very long, comfy life. They present it as one of the perks of being a Christian. As if God has a giant red velvet Christmas bag and in it is wealth, health, fame, and long life, and that He at random looks for Christians who have been “naughty or nice” and gives the “nice” Christians the good presents, but the “naughty” Christians He gives poverty, and sickness, and death. This “Santa Claus” view of God’s grace is all wrong, not because God doesn’t give out good things. James rather argues that “every good and perfect gift” is from God. No, the problem isn’t that God doesn’t graciously give, rather, the jaded view is that God graciously gives with the express purpose of making “the good Christian’s” lives comfortable. This just isn’t the case. As a matter of fact, God often calls the Christians to do the hard things. “Go ye into all the world” includes Yemen, and the Maldives where Christians are imprisoned. The command is still “Go.” This sound understanding of God’s design and purpose for His people, not as a God who supplies couches and footrests, but as a God who saves men’s souls from eternal damnation through the gospel of Jesus even at the expense of some Christian’s comfort, was what drove Paul to ignore the warning of Agabus in Acts 21, and continue on to Jerusalem. Paul’s life was valuable for one reason: He was called according to the purpose of God. This drove Him to proclaim Christ, what is driving you?

Food For Thought: Why did Agabus warn Paul? Why did Paul not heed the warning?