Some Will Listen - So Speak!
As we come to the end of Acts, you may have been amazed at what the Lord did in those early days of the church. Astonished too at the courage of Peter, Paul and those who travelled with them. All through the book, the apostles are speaking and taking action in the Name of Jesus. The Holy Spirit motivated them to make the gospel known to as many people as possible (Acts 1:8).
Despite at least two years of captivity in Israel (Acts 24:27) and two years of house arrest in Rome, Paul's passion for proclaiming the gospel was undiminished. When the Jewish leaders refused to listen to Paul, he welcomed Gentiles to learn about Jesus. Although he was chained to a soldier for two years (Acts 28:20), he had the freedom to welcome all who wanted to hear about Jesus. It was a full-time job which the Lord had set up for him. His captivity was not a problem. The Lord provided a soldier to protect Paul against the murderous intent of religious people who felt threatened by Jesus (Acts 23:27-30).
Paul's influence must have been considerable. Rome was the centre of a huge Empire, the cross-roads of the then known world. We do not know who Paul spoke to, but he was bold. Nobody stopped him explaining the person and work of Jesus, and the need for salvation in the light of judgement to come. Strangely he probably had more liberty to share the gospel in his rented house than on many of his missionary journeys. And he also wrote letters from prison to churches in, what is now, Turkey. Those letters are in our Bible to instruct us as well.
It is often difficult to see what the Lord is doing until after He has done it. He was in command of all the events in the book of the Acts. He is also in command of all the events in, and surrounding, your life too. His purpose is that you will bring glory to Him (1 Peter 2:12); and particularly that you will speak about Jesus. You will never know who will listen unless you speak. The Lord has given you more opportunity that you may have taken until now. Take it, and speak about Jesus; then see who will listen, and then see how the Lord will work in their lives. We have come to the last verse in the Acts of the Apostles, but another chapter in your book opens today. How will you let the Lord work through you?
© Dr Paul Adams