“And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved. So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say: “Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will see, and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” ’ “Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves. Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”
Acts 28:24-31 NKJV
Acts twenty nine
Paul’s life was lived full tilt for the advance of the Gospel. He was truly a man of zeal, singleminded, undeterred by worldly concerns. He had no family to be concerned about, no politics, he avoided all of the traps that often draw believers away from completing the mission we have been given.
As I read through Acts 28 this morning, I could see how every step was orchestrated by Jesus. He was working and telling of the Lord, and the great salvation. Not even vipers, those that slither, and those on two legs, could stop him.
Along the way, the Lord blessed him with other brothers and sisters to encourage him, as he drew close to Rome and the completion of his work.
We are living in Acts twenty nine, as we are the benefactors of the manifold wisdom of our forerunners, who went before us to share the Good News.
We are the Gentiles, the world, those grafted into the wild olive tree. We are not the chosen ones, but adopted in the beloved, in the hopes that those who are of the root be drawn to salvation.
“And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.”
Romans 11:17-18 NKJV
We are the keepers of the flame, keeping the hope of salvation alive, that those who have rejected Jesus, will find it anew and all Israel will be saved.
It can seem, at times that the flame is flickering, and in danger of being put out. The winds of change are blowing hard. In truth, it is an eternal flame, durable even in the storm.
I have found that trial, trouble and opposition only makes my flame burn stronger and brighter. Even as I face great stress from a body actively in decay, I find that my spiritual strength increases, as I get closer to the end of my mission.
We are all getting closer to the end of the great commission, and the winds of adversity are blowing strong. For some, there is trial and suffering in these days, and it can be hard to keep one’s attention on the important things.
What sustains me is the ability to perceive the light, way off in the distance, growing brighter each day. The pain I suffer, the struggles I endure, fade against that glory being revealed.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Romans 8:18 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, there is glory coming. All of the concerns of the times will fade away. With that in mind, let us be like Paul, going full tilt, seeking to glorify the Lord with all that we do.
Let us use every moment to share about Jesus, telling all, friend and foe, about Jesus’ death on the cross, His burial and resurrection.
Acts twenty nine will give way to Revelation one, soon, if not already. We have not much time.
God provided for Paul as he was able to continue sharing Jesus unhindered. Jesus has opened a door for us, a door that cannot be shut, that we be able to share unhindered.
““I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”
Revelation 3:8 NKJV
In these perilous times, let us be faithful to keep His word, and tell of the Good News. The world is in a dire time, and is unaware of the danger that is approaching.
As brothers and sisters encouraged Paul as he journeyed to Rome, let us be sure to build each other up, along the way, as we draw close to the coming of the Lord.
May we be Acts twenty nine Christians, focused on the work, headed full tilt toward the glory growing brighter in the distance.
Go and serve your King!