Friday, August 30, 2013

We are on a mission

The Apostle Paul was quite the traveler. He and his missionary team took to heart the Great Commission, and were determined to evangelize everyone they could reach.  They were men of faith, men with a mission, and men with the willingness to spread the gospel message. 
Acts 19 begins by mentioning Apollos, who was doing the Lord's work in Corinth, and Paul making his way to Ephesus.  Verses 8-10 of that chapter lets us look into some of Paul's work.

Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

Notice the words of verse 8 in telling us Paul went in the synagogue and spoke boldly. His teaching there continued for three months and the scripture tells us he argued persuasively about God's kingdom.  I see in this description the man, Paul, completely devoted to his mission of teaching the gospel. Paul's success is not only because of his faithful determination, but also the power in the message he proclaimed. 

I want you to see both those elements as necessary if we are going to succeed in reaching the lost. We need people committed to the cause, strengthened by the power of the truth they proclaim. They are key elements if we are taking the gospel to unknown lands or next door. 

Some will quickly point out there were those that opposed the Lord's work which Paul was doing. These verses from Acts 19 let us know some who heard the word became obstinate and refused to believe. Their disbelief led them to attack the message. 

If someone chooses not to believe in Jesus and the events of the cross, that is their choice to make. When those people were encountered by Paul, he simply moved on to teach those who were hungry for God's truth. Next we find him leading discussions every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.  Paul was there for two years, telling folks about Jesus, while leading them in turning their hearts to God.  In fact, the last verse from our text above tells us because of Paul's teaching and discussions, all the Jews and Gentiles in Asia heard the word of the Lord.  Wow!  All those people in Asia, and through this evangelizing effort, they had all been told about Jesus.

Then I think about the relatively small town where I live and have lived for a little over 30 years. I know there are some that have not been told about Jesus. I wonder if there are some on my street?  I am not Paul and I could never match his accomplishments, but as a Christian, I carry with me in every step I take and every word I say, the responsibility of sharing Jesus. 

"Lord, help me see people as you see them. Melt my heart with the thoughts about those I see every day who are searching and hungry for something better.  Make me useful in the task, Father, of leading them to you. Amen."


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