Acts 21:37-40, Acts 22:1-21
How many points did you score? Who won the game? What grade did you get? How many sales did you make? These common questions serve as evidence of our performance-obsessed culture.
In Acts 21-22, after sharing the Good News for nearly two decades, Paul is in Jerusalem during a time of rising tensions. He’s kicked out of the synagogue by Jews and bound in chains by Romans. Interestingly enough, his roots run deep in both the Jewish and the Roman worlds. At this culminating low-point, do you think Paul ever thought, “What a failure… is this really the ultimate product and payout of my ministry?”
Our hindsight sees what his foresight likely couldn’t — Paul’s ministry ignited the spread and shaped the face of Christianity as we know it. Despite that, it is not the results of Paul’s ministry for which we should be held captive. It is the faithfulness of his spiritual walk. Faithfulness, not production, is the secret to life rich in the Spirit and high in God’s measure of success. Should we learn anything from Paul, let us learn this: God desires nothing more from us than faithful relationship. Our ministry then flows out of that devoted place.
Consider this: He wants us to know unquestioned approval apart from the world’s interpretation of acceptance or success. We are already His; let us choose daily to be so.
Jesus help me to be in relationship with you. That’s it. Just help me look to you instead of myself and this world.