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Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Acts Day 227 - The Calm Before the Storm

19:21 When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time.

We ended yesterday with a dramatic book burning as many who had been sorcerers etc... had become believers in Jesus. Gone was the dark magic. The account ended with Luke declaring that Word of God was prevailing mightily.

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Now we get two verses catching us up on where Paul has come from and where he plans to go. Seems odd to have a travel itinerary update. I believe it serves for at least two purposes. One is that it creates a brief pause between two highly charged events. We'll come back to that.

The second and perhaps main reason was to remind us again that Paul's life is Spirit filled and Spirit lead. We will remember that he went to Macedonia in response to a dream/vision. It was certainly no idea of his own. After some time there he determined to go to Jerusalem. An eighteen month or more stop in Ephesus on the way was not part of his plan. Starting a school to train more "good news dispensers" (evangelists) was not part of his plan. Being part of some bizarre miracles that lead to the conversion of a significant number of sorcerers was also not in his day planner.

Now Luke reminds us that Paul is I between Macedonia and his goal of reaching Jerusalem and eventually Rome. Not only is he "inbetween" but he is going to remain a while longer because it has been "purposed in the Spirit." A life surrendered to God may be a life with many plans and goals but those plans are always subject to the Spirit's leading. Again we don't use God's Spirit as a tool to accomplish our purposes. That's the essence of idolatry and paganism. I'm all false religions we manipulate "the gods" to accomplish or get what we want. In true religion we are the hands and feet of Jesus to accomplish His purposes in the lives of others.

Now back to the storm. Paul came to a dark city and claimed back significant 'territory' (hearts) for God. You can rest assured no territory is surrendered easily. The storm unleashes tomorrow.

Don't fear the storms. Expect them. Jesus is in the boat. All is well.

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