November 12, 2017
For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ--with all boldness and without hindrance! Acts 28:30-31
Fittingly, the book of Acts ends with an exclamation mark! The Good News of Jesus is being spread throughout the known world; communities of believers are worshiping together and taking care of each other; doctrine is being established as the apostles' teaching is recorded and followed. It all ends with an exclamation mark ... even as Paul is held in custody.
The book of Acts ends with Paul under house arrest. Later, he would be put to death by order of Nero. But for now, he is in a rented house with guards at the door. All who come see him are welcomed. And there, under arrest in that rented house, Paul proclaims Jesus "with all boldness and without hindrance!"
Do you feel restrained or restricted today? Maybe a past failure bores a hole of paralyzing pain in your soul. Maybe an illness has robbed you of health and restricted you to your home. Maybe discouragement has taken away your drive. Maybe life's circumstances have left you feeling like you're under arrest. Could it be that God has you right where you are for a reason? Could it be that He is getting ready to demonstrate His strength through your weakness? Could it be that God is getting ready to bring some people to you who need to hear about Jesus? There you are ... like Paul ... limited ... and yet God is bringing people to you. Are you ready to proclaim Christ boldly and without hindrance right from your present situation? Only God can put a triumphant exclamation mark on our restraints and restrictions.
Father, from right where we are today ... use us. Right from today's circumstances, let us boldly proclaim Jesus. Help us see beyond ourselves. Give us opportunities to speak out boldly for You. In spite of our circumstances, help us to live with an exclamation mark! In Jesus' name. Amen.