Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Thursday, 4 March 21:
Acts 21:39 – “Paul replied… I beg you, permit me to speak to the people.’”
As mentioned in previous comments, Paul was single-mindedly intent on spreading the Gospel to as many as possible, which guided his response to every situation –
- Romans 15:20 — I make it my ambition to preach the gospel….
- Romans 1:14, 15 — I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So, I am eager to preach the gospel….”
Paul risked his life to preach the truth of the Gospel in the Temple — “They [the angry mob] were seeking to kill him” and beat him ruthlessly. (Acts 21:31, 32) Paul’s life was saved by soldiers who arrested him and decided to take him to the barracks. However, Paul appealed with the tribune to let him speak to the mob even more before departing. “Paul, standing on the steps, motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language….” (Acts 21:40) Wow! Now, that is focus and commitment to the Gospel!
Put yourself in Paul’s shoes: You tried to share the Gospel with some people, and you were beaten nearly to death and arrested. Would you then, rather than simply leaving quietly under protection, turn right around and share the Gospel with those same enraged people again? Hopefully, you don’t have too many people in your life who would rather see you dead than hear you share your faith, but do you have this sort of heart for those who persecute you? When persecuted, do you defend yourself, remain passive, or proclaim Christ? Unfortunately, it takes far less than a bloodthirsty mob for me to regularly lose sight of my calling from God to be His ambassador, making the most of every opportunity (good or bad) to share to Good News. How about you?
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 4 Mar 21: Today, pray for wholehearted Gospel commitment and boldness in sharing the Truth, both for you and for all believers.