Friday, August 9, 2013

Hit the Ground Running (Acts 21:15-22:22)

Hit the ground running … This phrase could describe the apostle Paul throughout his life and ministry, and it is exactly what we’re going to do here today with this post.  I believe that we last left off with Acts 21:14.  If you would, please grab your Bibles read Acts 21:15-22:22.  As you read, allow the words to draw you in – asking (and answering) some questions before moving on.  For example, right off-the-bat, verse 15 says, “After these days” … after what days?  Familiarize yourself with what has been leading up to this time in Paul’s ministry as well as what is going on at this point in Scripture.  I’ll be waiting (in the next paragraph) when you’re ready for some discussion.  No rush…

This passage is so large that there are many details and phrasings we could focus on; instead today, we’re going to take this opportunity to step back and see a wider picture.  In the Acts 21:15 – 22:22 passage, we see two occasions where Paul was positioned to speak to a group of people.  One group was friendly (21:17); the other hostile (21:31, 22:22).  Paul took each of these opportunities to relate his own, personal testimony – not to preach a sermon.

God had very clearly called Paul to be a witness to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21).  As a part of Christ’s body, we as believers are to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8).  Peter even said that we are “always to be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks [us] to account for the hope that is in [us] … courteously and respectfully” (1 Peter 3:15b).  The very idea of this can be so intimidating, especially if you feel as if you don’t know enough about the Scriptures to preach a sermon on command.  Paul’s example here in Acts 21 and 22 reminds us that sometimes (often times) when God presents us with opportunities to talk to someone about Jesus Christ, He is opening the door for us to testify about what God has done through Jesus in our own lives.
Now What?  I would encourage you to begin thinking – even journaling – about the things God has done in your life.  Like Paul (Acts 22:3), start from the beginning and work your way up to the present.  God made you a part of His story.  Make Him a part of yours.

1 comment:

  1. So true ... often the most powerful statement of faith is a personal testimony face to face. It makes Faith more real to those that are questioning.

    Thanks Lori!