I come to You as my Father. I lay all my burdens before You, knowing You are the only one who can carry them.
Have you seen people shut their minds to the Gospel?
The crowd has been riled up with false testimonies (28), so an angry mob seizes Paul and drags him out of the Temple. "Immediately the gates were shut" (30). This physical closing of the Temple to Paul is significant: it suggests the spiritual closing of the minds of the mob, who were not ready or willing to hear about Jesus.
The Jews had always been under threat as a people, something that continued long past biblical times (the Holocaust was less than 100 years ago), and here they believe they are fighting for their survival (28).
As Christians we can sometimes find ourselves on the defensive, fighting to preserve our rights or our identity. When we are challenged about something we hold dear, what is our response? Do we take the time to understand it from all sides?
It is easy for fear to close our minds and hearts. Fear tells us that new things are a threat to our faith and denies us the opportunity to be transformed by Christ.
Commit Jeremiah 17:7-8 to memory. Meditate upon God as the faithful source of your life.
Lord, help me to keep my heart open to You and to be rid of all fear. Teach me as I keep my heart set on You.