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The Best Laid Plans..


cffblog6.jpgJanuary 26, 2018 (Friday)

Yesterday's blog told about a young man miraculously brought back from the dead at Ephesus, as Paul preached to his friends there. Paul was there briefly, returning from his third missionary journey, determined that nothing would keep him from getting to Jerusalem, where he intended to present an offering from the Gentile believers to the suffering Jewish believers there. Paul-on-steps.jpgBut things did not go as Paul had hoped, and after a few days he found himself being escorted by many Roman soldiers to the Roman governor's palace in Caesarea, where he remained imprisoned for several years, even though he had been convicted of nothing. His main accusers were the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem, but the Roman governor did not want to get involved in matters that pertained to religion--especially that of the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. When Paul saw that the situation was worsening and that he would most certainly be killed if released from the governor's custody, he appealed to Caesar, which was his right as a Roman citizen.

The rest of the book of Acts describes his dangerous journey to Rome, a shipwreck, and a miraculous preservation of lives as Paul and his friends prayed constantly. He finally made it to Rome, a highly desired destination for which he had planned and hoped, but as a prisoner. The Book of Acts takes the history through his aquittal and release after two years of imprisonment, but leaves untold the rest of his ministry after that release. A little detective work utilizing other sources of information and references to his later writings lead us to believe that Paul had several more years of mission work but was arrested and beheaded by Nero.

As Paul restored the young man to life at Ephesus, he was clearly going to let nothing hinder him from his trip to Jerusalem. However, events did not transpire as he had expected, but he saw the hand of the Lord in everything that happened after that. If we surrender to the Lord's leadership in our lives, we need not fear the future. God will make a way for us to glorify His Name if we are willing.

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