After we tore ourselves away from them, we set sail on a straight course to Cos, reaching Rhodes the next day, and then Patara. 2 We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, boarded, and put out to sea. 3 We spotted Cyprus, but passed by it on our left. We sailed on to the province of Syria and landed in Tyre, where the ship was to unload its cargo. 4 We found the disciples there and stayed with them for a week. Compelled by the Spirit, they kept telling Paul not to go to Jerusalem. 5 When our time had come to an end, we departed. All of them, including women and children, accompanied us out of town where we knelt on the beach and prayed. 6 We said good-bye to each other, then we boarded the ship and they returned to their homes. 7 Continuing our voyage, we sailed from Tyre and arrived in Ptolemais. We greeted the brothers and sisters there and spent a day with them. 8 The next day we left and came to Caesarea. We went to the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven, and stayed with him. 9 He had four unmarried daughters who were involved in the work of prophecy. 10 After staying there for several days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 He came to us, took Paul’s belt, tied his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In Jerusalem the Jews will bind the man who owns this belt, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” 12 When we heard this, we and the local believers urged Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Paul replied, “Why are you doing this? Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I’m ready not only to be arrested but even to die in Jerusalem for the sake of the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 Since we couldn’t talk him out of it, the only thing we could say was, “The Lord’s will be done.” 15 After this, we got ready and made our way up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us and led us to Mnason’s home, where we were guests. He was from Cyprus and had been a disciple a long time. (Acts 21:1-16, CEB)
Paul is on his way to Jerusalem, where people think bad things will happen to him. They are urging him not to go, but he knows that God needs him to go there.
Have you ever thought something was going to go badly? I have. I have been there and seen the signs a number of times, like people were out to get you and would do anything to make sure you are done for. Been there, done that. And I have stood my ground. I have spoken the truth in love and knew that no matter what happened, that God was with me.
That is where Paul is in this reading. He knows that God is with him. He knows that no matter what happens that God is never going to leave him. He is ready to be killed for what he believes. Paul is ready to stand his ground and speak the truth in love.
Are you ready?
Love People. Love God.