Today’s Reading: Acts 28:16-31
During the summer months many people attempt and make successful family trips to various places. Some may be right in your backyard while others take you to far off exotic places. Now, I’m not even going to try to connect these trip to that of Paul’s journey to Rome in Acts 28, but want to just dig a little deeper into Paul’s legal trip to Rome and highlight the influence he had in a specific place God divinely brought him to, in order to influence others.
Mindset’s, or lets say faith-sets make a difference. Paul’s trip to Rome was a “legal matter“, he was a ward of the military system and placed on house arrest and guarded in Rome for two years. What did he do? Paul thanked God, he took courage. verse 15 This wasn’t the way Paul planned to reach Rome but knew God had blessed him by allowing him to get there.
What is my response? So…maybe the trip you take for work, or the family vacation to “not your ideal location“, or a stay at the your in-laws or your own extended family is like house arrest or a trip that you don’t have any control over. Maybe its sitting at the practice or game with other parents? Talking outside with neighbors? Either way, let’s make these summer trips or even just our daily routines like we have the mindset of Paul. Our journey today may not include chains, being shipwrecked, and the many other trials in a physical sense or maybe it has? We all have a story and trials we face daily. So if it has felt that way like it did for Paul, trust that God is working all things out for good (Romans 8:28) for you as well. God may not always allow us to feel comfortable and secure, but He provides us the opportunity to do His work. Look at the work Paul was doing. When our journey is feeling difficult, we need to lean in a little closer to God and trust in His plan for our varied journey’s or storms like Lynden mentioned yesterday.
God called Paul to see and speak with both Jews and Gentiles in Romes. Paul knew that the hearts of the people were calloused, ears were dull for hearing, and their eyes were closed (Acts 28:26-27) still, Paul would speak of God and speak of the glorious message that can convert a heart,can heal deafness, or any loss of sight. This is the same message that have changed our hearts, opened our eyes, and opened our ears to hear His Living Word. These verses are originally quoted in Isaiah 6:9-10 where God was using Isaiah in Jerusalem to convert hearts.
God uses Paul, He used Isaiah, He is using us to share His message. That even today in the spaces and places where it may seem hard or not favorable to share because of hardened hearts, closed ears, and blind eyes. Jesus will use His words spoken through us to convert, change, and heal those who are hurting. Those who feel like they have nowhere to go. Those who have lost all trust and faith in others… you can point them t to God. Maybe this was your story? I know it was mine.
This summer we have some mini trips planned, many days will be spent around our home and neighborhood. some days will be spent at work, at the pool, practices or games. Although, we may not be on house arrest, the fact is that without others knowing about God and His love for us, many will be in a lot worse place then jail for eternity. I’m humbled and amazed to think that Paul wrote letters like Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians, (the Prison Epistles) during this time. Paul wrote these letters for the millions that have read them through the centuries, he wrote them for you and me. Paul wrote while changing the hearts of many who were in his presence in these years at Rome. Rome, a place that had many gods, similar to the many gods that we can focus on today. Let’s not let these worldly things get in our way. Let’s take today, and every day in our short lives here on Earth to preach about the Kingdom of God, and those things which concern the Lord Jesus, with all boldness and without hindrance.
Welcome to Rome biblejournal family, don’t worry about the words to say, God is with you, go with boldness.