I love the Book of Acts. Most of those reading this devotional will also love it and be familiar with the events of chapters 9-11.
As I read these passages again, the movement of the star players drew my attention. Saul, as we begin asks letters from Jerusalem to arrest the believers in Damascus, approximately 200 miles away. He may have had a donkey or two to carry the gear, but mostly they walked. Here is a man so dedicated to his ‘righteous’ deed that he is willing to subject himself and whatever support group is available to, what had to be, a rather grueling adventure.
Then, after his remarkable conversion, return to Jerusalem, (another 200 miles) and the resulting danger, he is whisked off to Caesarea and then on to Tarsus. That represented approximately 600 miles.
Cornelius sent his men on a 30 mile walk to Joppa to find Peter. When they returned, Cornelius mentioned “four days ago…” in verse 30 of Chapter 10. That means these men walked 60 miles in four days.
Again, Barnabus travels to Antioch from Jerusalem (approximately 300 miles) and then on to Tarsus to retrieve Paul which is another 243 miles. Together they return to Jerusalem carrying gifts and offerings over a 500-mile journey.
How did they eat? Where did they sleep? How did they bathe or take care of their personal needs? Their amazing dedication to spreading the gospel is truly noteworthy.
So, what about me? What about you? How far would I walk (or drive) to teach a Bible Study? How much am I willing to sacrifice to visit a friend in need? Will we easily lay aside our own plans to cultivate a season of prayer for our Nation; our family? Can we dedicate a few days to fasting for the Spiritual victory so needed in these days? Will we go far enough to invite people over for dinner to sow those seeds of love?
With that Great Cloud of Witnesses cheering us along, what manner of Christians ought we to be? (I wonder if their Glorified Bodies still have calloused feet.) We have such luxury and ease of life compared to these heroes of the Faith. The question remains, therefore, how willing are we to sacrifice for The Kingdom?
How far will we go?