Youth With A Mission

Youth With A Mission has been serving God by serving other for many years.  Here’s an excerpt from their website:

Youth With A Mission is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced “WHY-wham”), we unite in a common purpose to know God and to make Him known.

Back when we began in 1960, our main focus was to get youth involved in missions. Today, we still focus on youth, and we also involve people aged 9 to 90. We currently have tens of thousands of staff (called “YWAMers”) and we work in thousands of teams and locations.

One of the joys of participating in YWAM is to work with people from many nations. YWAM’s staff come from nearly every country in the world, including places like Indonesia, Nepal, Mozambique, and Colombia.

We invite you to join us! Discover how you can use your gifts and callings in the YWAM world.

Visit the Youth With A Mission website to find out how you can help.

 

The Whole Body

You don’t have to go very far in the Bible to find the phrase serve the Lord; it’s repeated more than 80 times.  When Jesus was challenged by the devil, he responded to him this way:

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”  Luke 4:8 (NIV)

In today’s world, we are challenged by the devil every day (1 John 5:19).  Our mission is to stand strong against the devil in worship and service to God.  We start by following what Jesus identified as the greatest commandments:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.   And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

We demonstrate our love for God by how much time we spend with Him studying His Word, in prayer, and in worship.  And we serve God by serving others with the love that He provides.  It is in these moments that we feel the overwhelming joy God provides to those who are obedient to Him. Time spent in worship and service to God is a true believer’s most cherished experience.

God’s creation is a complex machine of which you are an important part.  As a believer, you are part of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27) and Jesus is the head directing and controlling all the connecting members.  Each of us has a specific role to play.  When we all work together as an entire church congregation, extraordinary things can happen.  When the whole body serves God collectively, there is no limit to what can be accomplished.

What follows is a small list of some of the many ways you might consider serving God with the whole body of your church.  My prayer is that you will use this list to inspire your service to God and that you will expand this list to include all of your own special talents and resources.

Serving God with your entire church has limitless possibilities.  May you be greatly blessed in your efforts!

Develop an ongoing strategy to seek and save the lost.

Open a food bank to help feed those in need.

Develop a discipleship program to help church members move closer to God.

Develop a resource to connect those in need with those who can help.

Put together a group of auto mechanics who are willing to share their skills with others.

Put together a group of tradesman who are willing to help others with home repairs.

Develop an ongoing effort to feed and care for the homeless.

Put together a group willing to regularly do yardwork for the elderly.

Put together a group willing to regularly do housecleaning for the elderly.

Develop a seeker-friendly meeting night to minister to those who have not yet found Jesus.

Partner with other churches to plan a large Christian community festival.

Plan a free day of fun activities for kids and their families and invite the whole community.

Find a resource for families in need in your area and develop an ongoing program to help them.

Create a database of things church members have in their garage, attic, or basement that they are willing to give away and find people in need who can use those items.

Document the talents of church members along with the amount of time they are willing to donate and connect them with people in need.

Develop a sports ministry for kids – soccer, baseball, flag football, etc.

Organize a free outdoor concert for the whole community.

Create a Bible study class for non-believers.

Develop a video story-telling ministry that documents the great things happening in your church.

Partner with the local community government to develop large scale service projects.

Partner with other churches to develop large scale ongoing service projects like helping the homeless and low income families in your community.

Provide Christmas and/or Thanksgiving meals for families in need.

Provide free job-training classes.

Ask everyone in the church to post something they need (other than money) and see how many needs are fulfilled by other church members.

Regularly recognize volunteers and thank them in some way for the work they do.

Plan events specifically designed for church members to bring their unchurched friends.

Put together a health seminar with doctors, dieticians, and fitness trainers to encourage a healthy lifestyle for church members.

Develop an ongoing fitness program for all ages.

Invite representatives from major charities and service organizations to speak to the congregation.

Look for ways to use the church facilities for community outreach.

Support missionaries around the world.

Support those doing God’s work outside the church in the local community.

Dedicate your church to serving God rather than gaining new members.

Serving God One-on-One

Serving God in a Team Effort

Stories of Churches Serving God

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

Team Effort

You don’t have to go very far in the Bible to find the phrase serve the Lord; it’s repeated more than 80 times.  When Jesus was challenged by the devil, he responded to him this way:

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”  Luke 4:8 (NIV)

In today’s world, we are challenged by the devil every day (1 John 5:19).  Our mission is to stand strong against the devil in worship and service to God.  We start by following what Jesus identified as the greatest commandments:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.   And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

We demonstrate our love for God by how much time we spend with Him studying His Word, in prayer, and in worship.  And we serve God by serving others with the love that He provides.  It is in these moments that we feel the overwhelming joy God provides to those who are obedient to Him. Time spent in worship and service to God is a true believer’s most cherished experience.

Serving God with a few friends or your church small group provides opportunities to greatly expand the possibilities and effectiveness of your service.  What follows is a small list of some of the many ways you might consider serving God in a team effort.  My prayer is that you will use this list to inspire your service to God and that you will expand this list to include all of your own special talents and resources.

Serving God by serving others in a team effort expands your power and helps build deep relationships.  May you be greatly blessed in your efforts!

Seek the will of God through group Bible study.

Pray for each other and those around you.

Make sack lunches and pass them out to the homeless.

Designate at least one day a month to serving others as a group.

Work together cleaning up someone’s yard.

Work together painting someone’s house.

Work together helping someone move.

Work together cleaning someone’s house.

Ask your church for a work project you can do together.

Have a group garage sale and give the money to a good cause.

Sign up to work as a team at a homeless shelter.

Brainstorm ways to use the talents of your group members helping others.

Work together to organize a childcare night at church to give parents a night out

Have a bake sale and give the money to a good cause.

Cook and serve a thank you meal to the church staff.

Cook and serve meals to the homeless once a month.

Create a community garden.

Adopt a highway near your church.

Put together a free carwash.

Organize a class to teach computer skills to the elderly.

Work together to clean up a public space that has been neglected

Host an animal adoption event.

Find out what local nursing home residents need and help them.

Contact Habitat for Humanity to see how you can support them in your community.

Participate together in a blood drive.

Help maintain a trail at a nature center, park, or wilderness area.

Spread the word that your group is ready to serve when many hands are needed.

Take a group of nursing home seniors on an outing.

Pass out fast-food gift cards to the homeless.

Set up a booth of some kind at a local festival or fair.

Pass out free flowers at a local cemetery.

Pass out cold bottles of water on a hot day.

Work together with a small group from another church on a community service project.

Serving God One-on-One

Serving God with The Whole Body of your church

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

One on One

You don’t have to go very far in the Bible to find the phrase serve the Lord; it’s repeated more than 80 times.  When Jesus was challenged by the devil, he responded to him this way:

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”  Luke 4:8 (NIV)

In today’s world, we are challenged by the devil every day (1 John 5:19).  Our mission is to stand strong against the devil in worship and service to God.  We start by following what Jesus identified as the greatest commandments:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.   And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

We demonstrate our love for God by how much time we spend with Him studying His Word, in prayer, and in worship.  And we serve God by serving others with the love that He provides.  It is in these moments that we feel the overwhelming joy God provides to those who are obedient to Him. Time spent in worship and service to God is a true believer’s most cherished experience.

As individual believers, much of our service to God comes automatically as we interact with those we love.  Those who work in service related jobs such as nurse, firefighter, teacher, ministry leader, etc. have the added benefit of serving others routinely throughout the day.  Nevertheless, we all sometimes need a reminder of the many ways we can serve God one-on-one and how we might expand our efforts to achieve the greatest good.  What follows is a small list of some of the many possibilities.  My prayer is that you will use this list to inspire your service to God and that you will expand this list to include all of your own special talents and resources.

Serving God by serving others one-on-one is your most intimate connection to what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.  May you be greatly blessed in your efforts!

Hug someone you love and let them know how much you love them.

Do something unexpectedly helpful for someone close to you.

Do the household chores another family member usually does.

Use your God given talent to mentor someone.

Volunteer at church.

Search for a humanitarian organization where you can volunteer.

Start a neighborhood watch program so you can meet your neighbors and find out how you might be able to help them.

Invite a friend or relative to church.

Offer to provide a ride to someone who doesn’t have transportation.

Visit with elderly relatives or neighbors who are lonely.

Cook for elderly relatives or neighbors.

Visit and help those suffering from an illness.

Make a new friend.

Be a surrogate parent for a child who is missing a parent.

Visit a friend or relative who is in jail.

Listen for hints people give that indicate you may be able to help.

Help someone study the Bible.

Tell people what God is doing in your life.

Donate money to a good cause.

Donate your old clothes.

Donate your unused household items.

Start a small group at church.

Take the time to listen to someone without any agenda of your own.

When you’re out in public; look for opportunities to help others.

Find a special way to thank your church pastors and staff.

Become a foster parent.

Adopt a child.

Provide childcare so a friend or family member can have a night out.

Give extra help to someone at work.

Help someone with their school homework.

Sign up for a Mission Trip.

Search the Internet for more ways to serve God.

 

Serving God in a Team Effort

Serving God with the Whole Body of your church

 

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

A Ready Servant

 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.”   Luke 12:35 (NIV)

When the master of a faithful servant is away, the faithful servant will remain ready for his return twenty-four-seven.  If you want to keep your job you don’t want to be caught watching TV and lounging in the master’s chair, with a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, and load of laundry still needing to be washed when he arrives home.  The best way to prove yourself worthy of your position is to keep everything tidy and prepared for the master’s return at any moment.

“Like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”  Luke 12:36 (NIV)

As followers of Jesus, we eagerly wait for His return.  As His faithful servants we need to be ready for His return at any moment.  Jesus has provided us with a detailed instruction book that supplies us with everything we need to know to prepare for His return.  If we have not yet studied the Bible, we should be diligently doing so when He arrives.  If we have already studied the Bible, we should be faithfully following the guidance found therein.

We don’t know when Jesus will return.  It truly could be at any moment.  We should all take this moment to check ourselves against the instructions found in the Bible.  Jesus himself made it clear that the most important teaching is to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40).  If we love God, we will demonstrate that love by serving others with love.  Every encounter we have with another human being should come from a place of love.  That’s a tall order.  The world we live in is permeated by an evil force that pushes us away from our loving spirit.  In order to remain ready for the return of Jesus, we need to put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

What a glorious day it will be when Jesus returns.  There’s nothing we should want more than to be found to be a ready servant on His arrival.  Your vigilance will be rewarded by the ultimate servant, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.”  Luke 12:37 (NIV)

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

Christians are Blessed

Imagine if you can what it would be like to be in the presence of Jesus Christ.  Looking into His eyes, you would be looking into all eternity.  Talking with Him would be a conversation with someone who knows all, sees all, and understands you completely.  Every word Jesus shared with you would be a light into your soul filled with truth that could not be denied.  Walking side-by-side with Jesus would certainly bring peace – total security – completeness.  What a great blessing it must have been for those who were blessed with His presence.

“Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going.”  John 12:35 (NIV)

The world we live in is filled with darkness.  There are many who are stumbling around in the dark.  As believers in Jesus Christ we are to light the way for those lost souls.  Followers of Jesus have been blessed with light and truth.  We have been commissioned by God to be the light in this world.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”  2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)

Christians should carefully consider every moment of every day.  Christians should be fully aware of the evil that lives in this world and actively seek to avoid and expose its danger.  Christians should be focused on finding the path God has placed before them.

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”  Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)

The devil should not be underestimated.  He is a clever and highly capable opponent.  He is able to keep unbelievers running around in all the wrong directions.  If believers are not careful, the devil will use his powers of manipulation to get them to make a wrong turn as well.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV)

Living in a world filled with evil is a challenge.  God has placed us here for a reason.  We need to stay focused on Him and always be vigilant – cautious – and smarter than our enemy.

“We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”  1 John 5:19 (NIV)

Praise God that we have been transformed!  Praise God for sending His Son.  Praise God for giving us the power to overcome the evil of this world.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

God’s Grand Plan

Tragedy, calamity, betrayal, struggle, slander, and all the other difficulties we face in our lives are an important part of the complex tapestry that is God’s grand plan for our existence here in this world.  The life of the Apostle Paul is characterized by each and every one of the above listed negative traits; however, he never lost hope or wavered in the slightest in his faith.  Anointed by God to spread the Gospel, you would expect Paul to have an unencumbered life of spiritual protection.  This was not the case.  God gave Paul a life full of challenging circumstances.  We should praise God for providing us with a challenging life – a life in which we have every opportunity to grow in knowledge and wisdom; a life that will prepare us for the finale in God’s grand plan.

In chapter twenty-seven of the Book of Acts, we are told the story of the Apostle Paul’s horrific ocean journey to Rome.  After battling an enormous storm it looks as though all is lost; however, they eventually end up shipwrecked on a sandbar close enough to shore that everyone can swim to safety.  Then in chapter twenty-eight, the final chapter of the Book of Acts, Paul is placed under house arrest in Rome where he is able to entertain guests and preach the gospel to Jews and Gentiles.

The story told in the Book of Acts is that of the Kingdom of God coming to earth through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the disciples of Jesus are sent out into all the world to spread the good news in word and in action.  As a result, diverse Jesus communities were formed where all were treated equally as they gave allegiance to King Jesus and worked together to live by His teachings, trusting in the guidance of the Holy Spirit to point the way forward.

The Apostle Paul remained under house arrest in Rome for two years before being released.  In that time, he did much to advance Christianity in Rome.  He also penned the four epistles – Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. While Paul’s journey to Rome was a long and difficult one, it is clear it was all part of God’s grand plan.

“For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!”  Acts 28:30-31 (NIV)

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

God is in Control

If we stay in the Word of God, pray, remain committed to our faith, and listen carefully to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, whatever comes our way is very likely God’s desire for our life.  Sometimes it’s not until we arrive at our destination that we realize God was with us the whole way.  Looking back it’s easy to see how all the steps fit together.  But when we are seemingly lost in the wilderness going nowhere, it can be hard to feel God’s presence.  As a follower of Jesus Christ, we need to trust the Lord is with us in every situation.  In time, we will arrive at the place God has chosen for us to be of the most value to His mission.

In chapter twenty-three of the Book of Acts, the Apostle Paul has returned to Jerusalem after his missionary journey spreading the gospel to Jews and Gentiles.  Paul was not surprised to discover the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were threatened by his presence.  They didn’t want to give up any of their power so they accused Paul of crimes he didn’t commit.  As a result, Paul was taken into custody by the Romans to prevent the Jews from killing him.  Since Paul was a Roman citizen, he was taken to the governor where the Jewish leaders were allowed to make their case.  Even though the governor found no crime committed, he held Paul in prison for two years to appease the Jews.

“When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.”  Acts 24:27 (NIV)

When a new governor came into office, the Jewish leaders once again presented their case against Paul, requesting he be brought back to Jerusalem for trial, but their true intention was to kill him along the way.  Paul knew what the Jews were up to and requested his case be taken to the high court of the Emperor Caesar, which was his right as a Roman citizen.

Before Paul was sent to the high court in Rome, the king arrived and requested to hear Paul’s case.  Paul shared his life story with the King and explained how he had been anointed by God to share the gospel with the Gentiles.  The King was unable to find any crime committed by Paul and felt he should be released; however, since Paul had requested his case be heard by the high court, he had to be sent to Rome.

“Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” Acts 26:32 (NIV)

Paul was destined to go to Rome.  God wanted Paul in Rome.  There was nothing that was going to stop Paul from going to Rome.  We may never fully understand why God chose such a circuitous route for Paul to make his way to Rome, but there is no question this was God’s plan.  It seems God had lessons for the Jews to learn, for the governors to learn, for the king to learn, and for all those who witnessed these events to learn.  God wanted Paul in Rome, but not until he had completed the important work along the way.

God is in control.  Never let go of your dependency on Him.

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

The Way

If you’ve ever had the experience of building something from pages of very complicated instructions, you know that in the beginning it’s often impossible to see how the finished product will come to life.  As a result, you may feel the need to stray from those instructions and go your own way.  If you’re working with a companion who disagrees with you, there’s going to be trouble.  Do you ignore the instructions that seem to be overly complicated and explore another approach, or do you stick to the word-for-word directions?  If the instructions were written by the guy next door from his memory of building the same project a year ago, you might have a legitimate reason for trying something different.  If the instructions are from the manufacturer, it’s probably best to stay true to the word-for-word directions – unless you discover those instructions have subsequently been amended – in which case you follow the new version.

In chapter twenty-one of the Book of Acts, the apostle Paul returned to Jerusalem from his missionary journey knowing full well there were some who were in complete disagreement with what had been labeled “the way” of Jesus Christ (Acts 19:9, Acts 19:23, Acts 22:4). The Jews there, who had been following the complicated instructions of the Jewish law, were unwilling to change direction and follow Jesus Christ.  They wanted Paul in prison, or better yet, dead.  In chapter twenty-two, Paul was given an opportunity to explain in detail how he came to be a disciple of Jesus.  He told the dissenting Jews that he used to be one of them, but God spoke directly to him and specifically told him everything had changed – Jesus is the way.  They listened to Paul’s every word but heard nothing.  Paul received amended instructions from the manufacturer but the Jews didn’t care.  They were sticking to the original plans and in their view Paul needed to be permanently silenced.

“The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!”  Acts 22:22 (NIV)

The Jews didn’t like including the non-Jewish Gentiles in God’s plan.  They wanted to keep their exclusive membership alive and the apostle Paul was hindering their efforts.  This was of no consequence to Paul; he would not turn from the way of Jesus Christ.  Before he traveled back to Jerusalem he told the disciples he was well aware of the dissension there and fully intended to stick to the mission God had place before him. Paul was committed to the truth and nothing could disrupt his preaching of the gospel.

“Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”  Acts 21:13 (NIV)

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

A Difficult Journey

When we look at the life of the apostle Paul, we have to conclude that being a follower of Jesus Christ is not a ticket to an easy life.  Paul was anointed by God to spread the gospel and he was empowered by the Holy Spirit to perform miracles, yet his life was one struggle after another.  Here is a man who was highly favored by God and the path he traveled was a difficult one.  God clearly does not want us to skate through life unimpeded.  Challenging conflicts seem to be the order of the day in our walk with Christ.  It seems to me safe to say if we are not facing difficulties, we have lost our way.

In chapters 18 – 20 of the Book of Acts, the apostle Paul continues his missionary journey spreading the gospel.  Paul travels with a small group of disciples and together they share the saving grace of Jesus with Jews and Gentiles, having some success with both.  They travel through city after city and often encounter Jews who saw Paul’s new teaching as a threat which would cause him to focus his efforts on the Gentiles.  In one city, a group of craftsman challenged Paul because he was considered a threat to their business of making statues of the gods and goddesses they worshiped.  After some tense moments, Paul was able to extricate himself from a near riot and continue on his way.  Throughout his journey, Paul was performing miracles that served as a magnet for new followers.

“I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.”  Acts 20:21 (NIV)

After traveling through many cities, and converting many Jews and Gentiles to Christianity, Paul made plans to return to Jerusalem.  In all his travels, Paul was always dodging prison and he knew that when he returned to Jerusalem there was a good chance he would eventually end up in jail.  Nevertheless, he soldiered on feeling compelled by the Holy Spirit to follow this route.

Keep in mind Paul did not travel with a large bank account and guaranteed accommodations.  Paul worked his way from city-to-city as a tent maker (Acts 18:3).  He never knew where his next meal was coming from or where he would find a warm bed to sleep.  And when he was about to leave those he brought to Christ behind and return to Jerusalem, he knew full well false teachers would come after him and attempt to destroy his work.

“Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!”  Acts 20:30-31 (NIV)

God was with the apostle Paul every step of the way just as he is with all believers.  That doesn’t mean we won’t have a difficult journey.  God wants us to grow in knowledge and wisdom.  To that end, struggle is a main ingredient.  I leave you with the message Paul gave to his followers before returning to Jerusalem.  Remain strong in your faith.

 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”  Acts 20:32 (NIV)

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.