The Cost For Joy

Rod Shimabukuro

"And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 13:52)
These disciples included many Jews and devout converts to Judaism who followed Jesus' teaching. A number of the disciples were the same ones who heard Paul speak in the synagogue a Sabbath prior and urged him for an encore teaching session on the next sabbath.

Under pressure and persecution from Jewish leaders, with huge crowds gathered, Paul and Barnabas experienced the word of the Lord spreading throughout the city. This meant that people were experiencing salvation, believing the truth that was being revealed.

The experience of joy and being filled with the Holy Spirit is a gift. That gift comes with a cost. It wasn't the popular thing to do - committing your life to Jesus, becoming a Christ follower. This meant you would be forsaking traditions and religious laws. Relationship with God was taking on an entirely new meaning.
The words boldness, risk, giving up my rights and whole-hearted devotion to a "new way of life" come to mind. My heart is once again stirred to be a believer, not just of the mercy and grace of God for the forgiveness of my sins, but a believer of faith, laying down my life to fulfill a new call and purpose!

The joy and in-filling of the Holy Spirit may just come at the expense and satisfaction of risks. Risking my own life, comforts and pleasures for an eternal prize!
Are you ready Rod? says the Lord. Oh no God ... in and of myself I feel like a little child, being asked a question that "I cannot" fulfill in my own strength. Are you ready to give up more? To be pruned more? To lay down rights that you hold close to your heart?

For me to live is Christ - my spirit is willing.

Devotions for February 06

Leviticus 1,2,3
Acts 13

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