When the Hard Way is the Best Way (Acts 21:1-26)

The end of Paul’s Third Missionary Journey may seem irrelevant to us. ‘What do these voyages and prophecies and vows have to do with us?’ But the question behind them is one we often have to answer: ‘How do you make difficult decisions, especially when the future is uncertain?’

What is ahead for you? Can you expect good days or hardship? Exciting opportunities, work, study, and success? Or sadness, sickness, death?

What is ahead for us? Growth? Struggle? Change or closure?

‘Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”’ (James 4:13-15).

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. So, how do you decide what to do? Here in Acts 21, we see Paul wrestling with this question. And he lives out three principles, which should guide us too:

  1. Give Up Your Life (v1-14)
  2. Give Up Your Rights (v15-26)
  3. Prioritise the Gospel (v14, 25)

Sunday 8th September 2019

Review questions:

  • Who hosted Paul in Caesarea (v8; 6:5)?
  • How does this show the Gospel (8:1)?
  • What did Agabus say (v11)?
  • What did the believers urge (v12)?
  • Why did Paul go (v13; 19:21; 20:22-23)?
  • What should I want when I make decisions (v14)?
  • Do Christians always agree? Yes/No
  • Why did the elders want Paul to take a vow (v20-22)?
  • Is the hard way always the more Christian way? Yes/No
  • What is 1st priority (1:8)?
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

Published by Stephen McDonald

Christian, preacher, broadcaster

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