After [Paul and his peeps] had been there [in Caesarea] a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.” Acts 21:10-14 It's the cost of a disciple that hinders many from following Jesus. Whatever becomes most precious to us will determine our steps, it will call the shots and draw out the road map of our lives. There are some who will sell everything they have after they find treasure hidden in a field. There is no arm twisting or persuasive talk needed to convince them to give up what they had so to obtain what has become more precious. Their eyes and hearts become fixated upon the needle within the stack. The haystack becomes invisible to them as they set it ablaze so to obtain that which is of more worth to them. And is the call to follow Jesus worthy of it's price? Is the gospel worthy of it's price? It's a question that must be answered for those who have tasted and seen. Those who haven't seen the treasure would never sell everything or fully surrender.... for to them it isn't as real...it's more of a cute story which makes them feel good. But to the ones who have tasted and seen this precious Gospel, this unmatchable and priceless treasure...they are willing to re-position their lives, throwing off the un-needed excess weight on the ship of their souls as they advance towards the light of it's glory.
The price of the call isn't the same for everyone. Being thrown in prison, wrongfully accused and burned at the stake isn't Jesus' intent for every one of His followers. God may ask and lead one man to sell all his possessions and surrender his body to the flames for the sake of His name and if the man does, then he will be found righteous in doing what the Lord has asked. But there are some who will sell their possessions and surrender their bodies to the flames to impress men, so as to obtain a medal from them all the while the Lord has called them to keep their possessions and to arise to a place of great influence so they may support and bless God's people to carry His word to the ends of the earth... And who is more righteous?? The one who surrenders their body to the flames or the man who sowed into his ministry? Did not both do what was asked of them? Didn't they both have to make a choice of what to do with what they had been given? Yes! And in the end both would be accounted as righteous for being faithful with what they had been entrusted with.
We must not judge one calling as greater or of more value. We must encourage all people to relentlessly pursue the journey and call God has on their lives whether living in plenty or in want. God's mission for one man may look different then his mission for you.
In Acts 21 we see Agabus is faithful to deliver a message although it wasn't a "good" one. We also see that Paul is not only willing to walk into a trap but be beaten, wrongfully accused and preach to a defiant crowd. Lastly we see good intentioned followers of Christ trying to persuade Paul from doing what the Lord has called him to do, in the same way Peter tried to save Christ from dying on the cross. The answer was the same from both Christ and Paul because the cost was worth paying in comparison for what they had tasted, seen and become convinced of.
The truth is everyone will have to give an account for the things they have been entrusted with, for the things that they know He is asking of them. Don't let pride hinder you from walking in His ways. Don't let doubt rob you of your potential and His blessing. Don't let discouragement from people who didn't hear His voice tell you what He said or what He meant. Align yourself with His purpose and throw off every weight that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run this race with perseverance as we fix our eyes on Jesus BECOMING CONVINCED that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it...He is the Author and Perfecter of our lives. Amen!