Wednesday, March 6, 2013

God's Hero


God’s Hero

 

Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” – Acts 21:12-13

A few days ago in Macon County, Tennessee, a man and his wife came home to find that their neighbor’s house engulfed in flames.  Knowing that their neighbors, the Solomon’s, were elderly and still inside, without hesitation the man jumped out of his car, and ran to save them.  He ran into the burning house and managed to get the couple to the door.  But when he tried to retrieve their disabled sister, the smoke and flames overtook him.  They all died in the flames. 
This man, Danny Nash, is a hero, one of God’s own.  He was a deacon at the Hilltop Missionary Baptist Church. His daughter said of him, "He didn't think nothing about his own life. He thought he could save them."  A neighbor pointed out, "Danny is the hero. The good book says there is no greater love than a man who gives his life for a neighbor."

The love of God is a powerful thing.  It will make you do things you never thought possible, and give you unexplainable courage.  Mr. Nash had that love of God within him.  There was nothing he could do except rush into that house because the love of God for his neighbors overtook him. It’s only through His love, placed in the Christians heart by the Holy Spirit, that we can love others more than our selves.  This is the same love that Jesus had for us all, being willing to give up His own life to save us.
In Acts 20:22-24 Paul speaks to his disciples, those he has trained for ministry, telling them of his departure from them.  He says, “And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.  But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” God had already warned Paul of what awaited him in Jerusalem.  Chains and trials would come in that town.  But none of those warnings moved him, or discouraged him.  He said “nor do I count my life dear to myself”.  Serving God was more important than life to Paul. 

So he bid his friends goodbye telling them that he knew he would never see their faces again.  In Acts 20:37.38 we see the great love of God between them as, “Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.

The next day Paul boarded a ship to go to Jerusalem.  He had taken a vow to God, possibly the vow of the Nazirite (Numbers 6:1-21).  Under that vow he had let his hair grow until in Acts 18:18 He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow.” The Nazirite vow required that the hair be brought into the temple and burned, and other sacrifices be given as well.  Paul wanted to go to the temple to complete the purification process of his vow.  In Acts 21:23-24 we find there were four others who had taken the vow that would go with him to Jerusalem.
God is faithful to His children to warn them of danger.  In Acts 21:10-11 the prophet Agabus came to Paul, took Paul’s belt from his waist and bound his own hands and feet saying, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” God prepared Paul’s heart for what lay ahead.  And the great love of God bubbles up inside Paul as those around him cried in fear of his life.  Paul says in verse 13, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”  In the next few chapters we read of Paul’s capture by the Jews, how they beat him to the point he had to be carried, and the court trials in which he had to testify to save his own life.   

Paul’s love for God was greater than his love for his own life.  He was willing to do whatever it took to win souls to God.  In Acts 20:26-27 he tells his disciples I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” In good times and in bad, he served God because he loved God.  Even while on trial before Felix, Drusilla, Festus, Agrippa, Bernice, and Augustus Caesar, Paul delivered the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Paul was one of God’s hero’s.
We need more Christians to rise up and be hero’s today, being willing to do the work of God at all costs.  We have not drawn near enough to God to experience the full power of His love, which causes us to be bold in our faith, and do His will at all costs.  Mission fields are as close as our own neighborhoods, schools, supermarkets, workplaces, and yet, we don’t have the courage to be the Christians we are in public.  Witness in a grocery store? Tell a child about Jesus over lunch at school?  Knock on the neighbor’s door and offer prayer?  No. We can’t do that because it “doesn’t feel right.” 

When the Holy Spirit is allowed to empower us with God’s love, everything good feels right!  Be the Christian hero He has saved you to be.  Let your children say of you what Danny Nash’s daughter said of her father, “He didn't think nothing about his own life. He thought he could save them." 

3 comments:

  1. AnonymousMay 31, 2014

    Danny Nash is a hero! He was a Mason and a Shriner! There is another hero like him: Frank Alexander Butler, a 32nd Degree Freemason, Knight Templar, a member of a York Rite. Butler gave his life saving a woman but God took him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've not heard of Frank Alexander Butler, but would like to know more about him. How did the incident occur?

      God's love is a self-less love. It's rare to find these days, and worth proclaiming when we do.

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    2. AnonymousJuly 24, 2014

      Okay. Frank Alexander Butler, an Irish-American, did save a woman during a tornado in Oklahoma, shortly before the Vietnam conflict. Well done, Frank. Rest in peace.

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