Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 21:13.
During Paul’s final trial before Nero, the emperor had been so strongly impressed with the force of the apostle’s words, that he deferred the decision of the case, neither acquitting nor condemning the accused servant of God. But the emperor’s malice against Paul soon returned…. Not long afterward Nero pronounced the decision that condemned Paul to a martyr’s death. Inasmuch as a Roman citizen could not be subjected to torture, he was sentenced to be beheaded. Paul was taken in a private manner to the place of execution. Few spectators were allowed to be present; for his persecutors, alarmed at the extent of his influence, feared that converts might be won to Christianity by the scenes of his death….
More than one accepted the Saviour whom Paul preached, and ere long fearlessly sealed their faith with their blood…. Paul carried with him the atmosphere of heaven. All who associated with him felt the influence of his union with Christ. The fact that his own life exemplified the truth he proclaimed, gave convincing power to his preaching. Here lies the power of truth….
The apostle was looking into the great beyond, not with uncertainty or dread, but with joyous hope and longing expectation. As he stands at the place of martyrdom, he sees not the sword of the executioner or the earth so soon to receive his blood; he looks up through the calm blue heaven of that summer day to the throne of the Eternal…. Paul has the witness in himself that his soul is precious in the sight of his Redeemer.—The Acts of the Apostles, 509-512.
With God at Dawn p. 258
—-Please pray for a dear family who are very good friends of mine and are all quite ill with Covid. Mary
—-Please pray for Ilene and family as her mother passed last week. Please also pray for Josephine who is having surgery on Thursday. Pray also for my friend Fran, who is very sick with covid symptoms but tested negative. Rose
—-Please pray for my daughter as she has some kind of infection the antibiotics aren’t stopping yet and we are going to have to stay in the hospital until they can confirm it isn’t going to her blood your prayers are appreciated so very very much. Shannon
—-Pray for Charlotte and her unborn child that God will keep them in his protection. Rosemary
—-My sister Laurie is into witchcraft. She is hearing voices, seeing people that aren’t there. She said her name has been taken out of the Book of Life. That she has done horrible things. Please pray for her, her soul and our family. Teresa
I feel uncomfortable in crowds or at parties where there are a lot of people. A few years ago I was at a party where there were a lot of people I didn’t know. As I was listening to others talk and laugh, I happened to notice a large book on their coffee table that had photographs of Colorado that had been taken in the late 1800’s as well as today. Delighted, I sat down and began to look at the photos. The photographer who had put the book together, had snapped his photo from the very same spot as the one had been taken a century before. It was fascinating! As I compared each photograph, I could sometimes see roads and rivers that still followed the same path, an occasional building still in use, etc. In one picture there was a thriving town in 1881 but now it is gone. Only two stone foundations now mark the spot.
It was the mountains and rock formations, however, that truly identified most of the photos as being taken from the same spot. Those rock formations were the most fascinating of all. The wind and rain had changed the ones which were made of sandstone quite a bit. One such photo showed rock “chimneys” a hundred years ago towering the landscape. Today they are much smaller or even missing. The stones and rocks that were made of harder material, however, had stood through storm and heat with little change. Some of the cracks were a little deeper, but for the most part they were identical in both photos.
God’s Holy Word calls our Great Creator the Rock because He is always the same. We can rely on Him for He changes not. (Mal 3:6) “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. Heb 1:10-12 “I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Deut 32:3, 4 “I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psa 18:1-3
Our Dear Saviour used the symbol of a rock to teach an important lesson, “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:47-49
May we put all of our trust in the One Who never changes. May we feel secure in the One Who loves us with an everlasting love. (Jer 31:3) May we build our life upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, Who is the Great I Am, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, God praised for ever! (Ex 3:14; Rev 22:13)