So Paul agreed to their request and the next day went with them to the temple for the ceremony, thus publiciing his vow to offer a sacrifice seven days later.
~Acts 21:26, LNT
Don’t get sidetracked. If you do get sidetracked, get back on track as soon as possible.
~Donald J. Trump
James L. Nicholson wrote a hymn back in 1872 that begins like this…Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole; I want Thee forever to live in my soul; Break down every idol, cast out every foe—Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. The Christian life is a series of loses as one by one God crushes our idols– the things we love and cherish. I have watched God’s crush one after another and give me the grace, not to endure but to celebrate their loss. At one time SPORTS was a huge part of my life. In my early years I was afraid that TV would be my downfall. I have watched God work gently yet methodically to destroy my taste for things that have no significance. To be honest with you, I think He is getting me ready for heaven.
For the Apostle Paul, Jewish customs and traditions were his idols. They were things that he loved and he could not let go of them. On his third Missionary journey, he hurries to get by to Jerusalem for Pentecost. Why? Why would any Christian be anxious to observe something that Christ had made obsolete? His friends begged him not to go to Jerusalem. Agabus the prophet warned him not to go but he would not listen. When he got to Jerusalem, he agreed to a foolish risk that had no eternal significance, no bearing on his mission of spreading the gospel. But Paul wanted to placate the Jews and he wanted their respect. You know the story, he was spotted by some of the Jews from Turkey where he had spent time on his Missionary journeys and the incited a riot which Jews are very good at. They would have killed Paul had the Romans not intervened. Paul is arrested although he did nothing. The Jews organize a plot to kill Paul and when he finds out, he tells the Roman captain. Paul is quickly moved to Caesarea by the coast. But note one change from this time forth, no more talk about Jerusalem, the Temple and Jewish Festivals. Matter of fact, when Felix asks Paul if he would like to go back to Jerusalem, he said “NO!” A few days earlier, Paul told his friends he was ready to die in Jerusalem in necessary but finally, he gets his fill of Jerusalem and the Jewish customs. Like you and I, Paul finally saw these things for what they were and let them go.
How many souls were going to come to Jesus by Paul shaving his head and offering a sacrifice? None, these things had no eternal significance. Providentially, God allowed him to be arrested before he could carry out a sacrifice. Folks, Jesus is the ultimate and final sacrifice for sins. Paul knew all these things but he had a difficult time letting go of Judaism just like we have a difficult time letting go of our idols. Break down every idol, cast out every foe—Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
- Here at 1120 Iron Man we got a huge rain last Friday but it been rather light since but more is expected today. My corn got blown over on Friday and now my tomatoes are fall over because I can’t get in the garden to tie them up.
- I was so disappointed yesterday, no war movies.