Sunday, October 27, 2013
Making the Most of your Circumstances
Acts 28:30 ¶ He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him,
Acts 28:31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
Paul finally arrived in Rome and immediately set up house. Yes, he was under house arrest but he didn’t let that be a hindrance to what he believed God wanted him to accomplish. Even while under arrest he ministered to others and spread the gospel. He was intentional about everything that he did. He invited leaders to his home and when they came he shared with them the hope that he had in Jesus Christ. He continued preaching and teaching from his house for two years “with all boldness and without hindrance.” And he did all of this at his own expense.
What excuses do we have today for not doing the work of the Lord? Somehow we have preconceived notions of what it would take in terms of material resources to do God’s work. Paul, however, shows us what it means to simply be blessed by the circumstances in which you find yourself and make the best of it. Paul knew that he was to minister in Rome. I’m not sure his intent originally was to get there as a prisoner of the Roman Empire. However — they paid his way there :)
Paul had learned to be co-vocational for most of his ministry. He tried hard not to be a burden on those around him and while he was probably the greatest missionary of all time, he did that while being a tent-maker. However, I doubt he saw being a tent-maker as a distraction from his calling, instead I believed he used his tent-making as another platform from which to share Jesus with his customers. This got him out into the market-place and sporting events of his day and rubbing shoulders with a crowd with whom he would not have met on a regular basis had he not been making tents. He never had a time when he was a “missionary” and when he was not. When one door closed, he simply walked through another and continued sharing Christ with everyone who would listen!
When you think about it, how unlikely is it that Paul, a prisoner in Rome, would preach and teach about Jesus “with all boldness and without hindrance” and yet, that is what he did. So, what excuses am I making today for not doing all that God might want me to do? If I look at Paul’s life, I have no excuse whatsoever. My circumstances are nothing compared with those of Paul! If he could plant a church in a house in which he was imprisoned — just by ministering to his guards and inviting people into his home — what can I do — free to move about and be in contact with the world around me! May God give us evangelism eyes to see the world the way he does and make the most of every single circumstance in which we find ourselves to proclaim the kingdom of God and teach others about our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Lord, thank you for the boldness of Paul — and may just a little of that rub off on me. Amen.