09 September 2014
I finished reading Acts this morning and I read it as if I were reading it for the first time. The last several chapters had me glued to the pages like a good story. Well, that is what it is. A good story.
Paul is arrested and brought before many different leaders, pharisees, governors, and eventually King Agrippa. It seems they are all quite curious about what Paul so firmly believes and you can almost picture a few of them finding room their in hearts for the story of Jesus, but fear grips them back and they let the laws of the land rule their hearts. The fear of upsetting the public overrules them. And yet they cannot find fault with Paul and do not charge him, but because Paul requested an audience with Caesar he is sent to Rome.
He travels by sea and endures long weeks of bad weather and a shipwreck on the island of Malta. Paul keeps a cheerful countenance and the natives of Malta are good to the travelers. Even so, Rome is the final destination and after a few months they make it there.
It amazes me that a mere man, such as Paul, can shake their world such that they don't even know what to do with him. God uses mere mortals to do amazing things. Because of Paul we have these stories and letters of truth and encouragement that God's will is what will come to pass and He will see us through even the darkest of times.
Paul had such confidence in that, and it reflected in his life and speech. Even while under arrest he spoke kindly and graciously and used all his travel to speak about "the way" that is Jesus.
We are not all vibrant and bold like Paul, but can't we grasp even a little of his exuberance for sharing the Gospel? If we all did have a little bit and acted upon it, we'd be sharing some genuine words about Jesus' love with strangers and even enemies.
May we strive to have such a slice of zeal and the confidence to act. Isn't that what Acts is about?