This story is great. Paul is preaching until the early hours of the morning and one poor young guy is so tired he falls asleep and rolls back out of a third-floor window and dies. Paul rushes down and brings him back to life.
And you thought our services go long! You may feel like you’re dying, this guy did.
I love, though, what Paul does in his journey after this. He skips Ephesus. He loved those people, he cares for them, his letter tells us this. But he decided not to stop there. The mission was more important. People told him to stop. The mission was more important. He could have easily made it there. The mission was more important. No one would have ever blamed him, the mission was more important. He decided to pass by stopping to see the people he loved to preach to the people God loved enough to die for.
In 1665, a man named John Bunyan was convicted of preaching without a license. Yup, you had to go get a license to preach in his day. Bunyan felt God calling him to teach people about Jesus and he wasn’t going to wait until it was approved. So he did. He was arrested and thrown in prison for his teaching of the gospel. His wife and children struggled as their father was imprisoned.
They offered him freedom if he would confess he was wrong and go home and stop. Bunyan told them he couldn’t stop. God had called him to preach and so he would. He spent months at a time in prison for doing what God asked him to do. So he went again, and again and again. The mission was more important.
What do you give up for your faith? Do you sacrifice to follow what He has called you to do? Is the mission more important?