Bible Stories for the Young

Living for One Thing

Paul Sets Sail Toward More Pain


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Living for One Thing : Paul Sets Sail Toward More Pain

After saying goodbye to Eutychus and all the Family at Troas, Paul knew the Spirit was drawing him in a new direction. He had kindled, fired up, ignited lampstands as far as his feet and a boat could take him! But his race wasn’t over yet… and he was not going to stop, not going to stop. Not. Going. To. Stop.

It was time to set sail for Jerusalem. Now Paul knew he didn’t have time to hug every neck and wipe every tear as he was leaving, so as Paul and his companions set sail for Jerusalem, he instructed them not to stop at Ephesus (even though it was on the way). Instead, Paul had them stop just past Ephesus. Then he then sent word for some of the leaders in Ephesus to hurry on down the coast to meet him.

Once they arrived, Paul told them, “You know me. You know my humility and tears, even as I was being attacked by religious pretenders. You know I didn’t hold back. I taught you out in the open as well as in the quietness of your own homes. I told everyone I could to turn to God and to put their trust in Jesus.

But now the Spirit is leading me on to Jerusalem. I don’t know what will happen to me there, but I do know it will mean prisons and suffering. But nothing, not even my own life, is more important than the one thing that Jesus asked me to do: to tell the happy news of God’s Grace.

Watch over the sheep in your care. After I leave, savage wolves will come (to try to get the sheep to follow them). So keep watch and remember what you saw in me — how I warned each of you night and day with tears.

I am putting you in God’s hands. I trust Him and His word to build you up and reward you.

Remember how I showed you how to work hard, and remember what Jesus said, “It’s better to give than to get.”

After Paul said this, they all got down on their knees together and prayed. Tears streamed down their faces as they hugged and kissed Paul goodbye. They knew this was their last time to see his face on this earth. Then they walked him to the ship.

After they tore themselves away, they set sail. “This one thing I do, and I’m not going to stop.”

When the ship arrived at the next city to unload some cargo, the disciples there begged Paul, “Don’t go to Jerusalem. Please, don’t go.” But Paul knew what he needed to do, and he was not going to stop. When it was finally time to leave, everyone followed Paul to the beach where they prayed together. Then Paul and his friends set sail again. “This one thing I do, and I’m not going to stop.”

Several days later when they passed by Philip’s house, a seer named Agabus tied his hands and feet up with Paul’s belt and told Paul, “This is what’s going to happen to you in Jerusalem.”

When everyone heard this, they, too, begged Paul, “Please don’t go.” But Paul said, “Why are you crying and breaking my heart? I’m ready not just to be put in prison for Jesus, but also to die.”

No one could change Paul’s mind, so they said, “Let God’s Will be done.” And off he went to Jerusalem. “This one thing I do, and I’m not going to stop.”

After Paul had been in Jerusalem only one week, one week, some religious pretenders stirred up a mob against him. They started beating him and trying to kill him! Soldiers rushed in to stop them. Some people were shouting one thing and some people another. The mob was so out of control shouting, “Get rid of him! Get rid of him!” that the soldiers had to pick Paul up and carry him just to get him out of there. Once Paul was almost to safety, Paul asked the commander, “May I please talk to the crowd?”

(WHAT? Paul! You‘re almost to safety!)

But the commander agreed, so everyone listened quietly to Paul’s story. He told them all about how he was a Jew who used to hurt Christians… but then one day a bright light blinded him and a voice from Heaven asked him, “Why are you hurting Me? I am Jesus of Nazareth, the one you are hurting.”

The mob continued listening closely to Paul’s story… right up until he told them that Jesus sent him to tell the Good news to the not-Jews. When they heard that, their jealousy exploded into screaming, ripping their clothes, and throwing dirt.

The commander got Paul out of there, but since the commander was confused at why they were being so mean to Paul, he decided to have Paul whipped and questioned just to find out why this was happening. (Yeah, I know, that’s not fair and just, is it?) As they were stretching Paul out to whip him, Paul asked, “Are you sure you’re allowed to whip a Roman citizen?”

“You’re a Roman? Uh… we can’t chain or whip innocent Roman citizens!”

When all those fellas found out Paul was a Roman citizen… they baaaaacked away.

The next day the army commander decided to let Paul “defend himself” again with the religious pretenders in town.

Paul was trying to help them, but someone hit him in the mouth. But Paul was not going to stop, and by the end of it, the religious pretenders were arguing with each other! It was so crazy the commander thought they might tear Paul to pieces, so he had the soldiers go get Paul out of there again.

Later that night Jesus came and stood close to Paul and told him, “Have courage. You just got to tell about Me to all of Jerusalem! And you will also tell about Me in Rome.”

The next morning religious pretenders plotted and planned to kill Paul. But a young man warned Paul, and then the army commander, so the commander snuck Paul out in the middle of the night with 470 soldiers protecting him!

He sent Paul to the Roman governor in Caesarea. While Paul was in jail there, he got to tell three different government leaders about Jesus!

Even though some haters had told lots of bad lies about Paul, the governor, of course, couldn’t find any laws Paul had broken. So he couldn’t find any reason Paul had to stay in jail. But Paul said, “I want Caesar, the highest leader, to hear my case!”

“Paul! Seriously!? I was just about to let you go home! But since you asked to go to Caesar, now I have to send you… to… Rome.”