There are real dangers in life. Sometimes we create our own by living foolishly or taking unwise risks or ‘thrill-seeking’. Then there are dangers that arise because we choose to follow God and express our faith. What can result is persecution because we stir up the animosity within others, because the gospel upsets the worldly value system, the human status quo, and shines a bright contrasting light upon the sinfulness of man and by comparison the glory of God. Honestly, the persecution that has come my way has been rather tame. And God has been a great shelter for me. But, when the apostle Paul testified about Jesus and his own transformation, his Jewish brothers did not take it well. I love that the Lord appeared to Paul and encouraged him for what he was about to face. Then, Paul’s nephew heard of the plot to take his life, and saved him. I see my nephews fairly often. Not all of them. They are good young men who would be used by God to help me in days of trouble. I believe God still does that for any of us today. I wonder, what encouragement do you need from Him today? Remind your nephews how much you appreciate them.
But on the following night, the Lord stood near him and said, “Be courageous! For as you have testified to the truth about Me in Jerusalem, so you must testify in Rome also.” When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and put themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who formed this plot. They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have put ourselves under an oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul. Now therefore, you and the Council notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to investigate his case more thoroughly; and as for us, we are ready to kill him before he comes near the place.” But the son of Paul’s sister heard about their ambush, and he came and entered the barracks and told Paul. Acts 23:12-16 NASB
What encouragement would prepare me to boldly stand for God and endure opposition to the gospel and the dangers ahead?
God, as this day begins- I almost read too quickly how often the apostle Paul faced almost certain death. His enemies were many, his faithfulness admirable, and the miracles that accompanied his life- many! That’s the kind of life I desire to live. But, have I chosen the softer, less confrontive, passive path? Today, I again open my life, will, and even threat of danger to be obedient to your leading and guiding. If danger comes, I am grateful that I have plenty of nephews who can save me.