Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
MEMORIZE: “Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13).
READ: Acts 21:8-14
As a bona fide friend, one way of standing by Jesus Christ is to stand by His followers. In the judgement of the nations at Christ’s second advent, the Lord says He would command the sheep nations at His right hand, saying “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40). If you want to stand by Jesus, look for the less privileged believers to assist. Support them with your substance. Make a difference in their lives. Some people look for the opportunity to assist wealthy believers, probably because they can easily get help from them in return. That is not standing by Christ! Go and help those who cannot help you. Bless those who cannot bless you. Let them testify that their lives became better because you allowed God to use you. Some teenagers require assistance in enrolling for examinations but there is nobody to help. That is why you are there. That is why God gave you surplus so that they can be assisted (Gal. 6:9-10).
In addition, standing by Christ is attaining the height of commitment to the Kingdom of God, which means, to get to the point of dying for Him. Many people can confess their love for Christ but when it comes to the point of dying for Him, they will simply retreat into their shells. In Acts 21:11-14, when it was revealed that Paul was going to be jailed in Jerusalem, the brethren at Caesarea mounted pressure on him not to go there. But what did he say? Verse 13 says, “Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus”. As a missionary, your level of commitment is revealed by the countries, cities and communities you are prepared to go to. Some people always ‘hear’ God asking them to go to developed countries. They never hear God asking them to go to Muslim countries or war-torn nations. But I should think that, as a missionary, you are totally sold out to the Lord. Do you love Jesus to the point of going to a war zone for the sake of the Gospel? The one who is committed to Jesus is not after comfort. If your commitment to Christ has not reached the point where you see death as a gain (like Paul did in Philippians 1:20-21), your claim to having Christ as your friend is questionable.
Your level of commitment determines the extent God can use you. Pray for a heart of total commitment.
Bible in One year: Matt 23-25