I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. —Acts 21:13
Many people have died in the cause of freedom. Wars and demonstrations have taken place to promote freedom and peace and many end up dying seeking to obtain it. To be a free people, a free nation as the United States is, is wonderful, but so many have forgotten the cost of the freedom they enjoy. Even when people have the freedom to rail against this country, they forget that it is because of the sacrifice of many that they can be free to do that. In other countries they would be arrested, jailed and maybe even executed. All this is for a physical freedom.
The above verse speaks to another type freedom that the Apostle Paul was willing to be arrested and even die for. That cause was to share the good news about Jesus with others so they can be free from the penalty and punishment of sin even if it means they would be arrested and killed him for it. This is the case in many countries today. Christians in many areas of this world share the gospel with others knowing they could be arrested and executed for doing so. But wanting to see people free in Jesus is worth the cost. It is an eternal issue.
This is a challenge to me. How committed am I to the Lord Jesus Christ? Can I say with Paul, “I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die … for the name of the Lord Jesus?” According to tradition all the Apostle but John died for their faith. These men were totally committed and died for their commitment. They died simply because they loved Jesus and loved to tell others about Him. Why would people get so upset with that? Why, if they do not believe, do they not just ignore what was said like they ignore so many other things? It is because they know it is true and they do not want to turn from their sinful ways. That is why atheists (= a theist in rebellion) see the need to speak and act against Christians. They seek to relieve their conscience by rebelling against the truth. If they truly did not believe the message, then they would just forget about it. But because the message is true they see the need to seek to squelch it. Oh, fellow follower of Jesus, how committed are you and I? May we also be committed fully even if it means arrest and death for loving and living for Jesus and sharing this good news with others.
Dear Father, please help me to faithfully follow the Lord Jesus and to honor Him however that is worked out in my life!