When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him …. And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered. Acts 28:16, 30-31
When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, ‘O Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, “Why did the gentiles rage, and the peoples devise futile things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the lord and against his Christ.” For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:23-31
In Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks. But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren. Therefore, they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; and some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them, they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region; and there they continued to preach the gospel. Acts 14:1-7
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
We not only want to get our “person” to a better spot before we minister to others, but we want to get our “circumstances” to a better spot before we minister to others. We allow ourselves to be ruled by a spirit of uncertainty so that our living fully for God and His kingdom gets derailed by circumstances. This uncertainty is closely linked to fear, anxiety, and worry. Paul learned that his circumstances were always the sphere in which God wanted to use him for the building of His kingdom. When we, too, learn this, the fear, anxiety, and worry of uncertainty can be overcome. It will necessitate getting close to and staying close to God, being filled with His presence, seeing things as He sees them, and reaching out beyond the limitations of our circumstances to the opportunities God has in those circumstances for our ministering to others. Circumstantial certainty is an allusion and its pursuit is futile. Divine certainty in our relationship with God is real and is in our grasp. When we keep our focus on Him and the kingdom work He has for us in each and every circumstance of our lives, we will not only survive but thrive and of course, we will truly be living fully for God.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts
Lord, fill me with your Spirit in a full and complete way. Help me to see things the way you see them, so that I don’t view my circumstances as limitations but as opportunities for you to use me to minister to others. May my certainty come from you and you alone. Deliver me from fear, anxiety, and worry. I choose to survive and thrive. I choose to live fully for you and your kingdom. Amen!
Posted on Thu, May 25, 2017
by Ken Hart