Read Acts 21:7-14; Matthew 16:24-27
Point 2 – Learn to live without reservation.
In Acts 21:10, Paul was warned by a prophet named Agabus that he would be imprisoned by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. After hearing the prophetic words, and with tears in their eyes, Paul’s companions pleaded with him to stay away from Jerusalem (vs.12). They couldn’t bear the thought of losing their friend and pastor at the hands of the religious leaders of Israel. Paul’s response to their concern reflected his love and relationship with his friends. It also spoke to his commitment to Christ.
How would you describe Paul’s response to their concern in vs.13?
Nothing would stop Paul from following the leading of Christ in his life. Paul embraced a “live dead” mentality in his life. He was willing to be arrested, put on trial, and even die for his faith. That type of spontaneous and courageous response could only come from a life totally surrendered to God. He was a man transformed by Christ. What else could he do but follow in the footsteps of Christ (Matthew 16:24-27). Only God could take a man who once was involved with taking the lives of other Jesus followers and transform him into someone willing to give his life for Christ (Romans 12:1-2).
Our church supports several missionaries who live in parts of the world that aren’t friendly to the gospel. In fact, many of these countries are downright hostile to Christianity and to the sharing of the Gospel. Each day, these missionaries place their lives in the hands of God and serve their communities with love and the gospel.
God calls us to embrace this same “live dead” mentality. We are called to “go” into all the world and share the good news of Jesus with every man, woman, and child. It may be uncomfortable to share our faith with others, but we are called by God to do it. It may be unpopular to live out our convictions but God wants to help us be the light that this world needs.
Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection
- What does it mean for you to “live dead” in your life today? What is one way to live totally surrendered to God in your life?
- What are the things that keep us from sharing our faith with others? What can you do to be more ready and willing to share?
- According to Matthew 16:26, Jesus asks the question, “what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” What are the things that our culture is willing to exchange for their soul? Which of those things do you feel most tempted to pursue instead of the things of Christ?