Today's post is a special guest one from Brother Chris Meek.
Key Verse: Acts 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the
Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
Big Idea: The Church of Jesus takes the whole word to the whole world.
As we come to the final chapter of the book of Acts, we are reminded again that we are not at
the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning. To recap, we have seen the church
spread among the Jewish world, then leap to the Gentile world under the many missionary
journeys of Paul, Barnabas, and company, until finally Paul is bound for Rome - the seat of the
Uttermost in the Great Commission. After being shipwrecked in Chapter 27, we see how God
provides for Paul and his traveling party, first through the “barbarians” at Melita, then through
other Christians at various stops on the way to Rome.
Then we see our big idea in action. Paul, in a familiar situation, is preaching the gospel to the
Jews in Rome, where “some believed,” and “some believed not”. What Paul says to them next is scathing - the kind of message that got him imprisoned. You may recognize the verses in 26-27 from the Parables of Jesus: Paul is saying that their hearts are so broken and dysfunctional, they’ve closed off their own eyes and ears to what God is doing (indeed, not only Paul, but also Isaiah and Jesus!) He further insults them by saying God is taking what they understood to be exclusively theirs - salvation - and making it available to their enemies, the Gentiles! And He does just that: using Rome as a base, Paul is able to help and encourage the church sharing the Gospel there, write many of the epistles that make up our bible today, and gain an audience with the leadership of Rome (which made up the bulk of the civilized world).
The book of Acts begins a story that continues in you and I today: God using His church, a people He has called out, to reach the lost of this world. By His word, He saves us from our own
sin and the punishment we deserve for it (Romans 10:17). But we should not make the mistake that the Jews made, assuming that salvation was only meant for their benefit. Remember: God not only promised that He would make a nation for Abraham, but that through his son He would bless all nations. Many people struggle to know God’s purpose for their lives, but the book of Acts, and the entire Bible, make this clear: our purpose is to bring the Good News of Jesus to those who need it. And to do this, there are only two things you need: to know the Good News, and to tell it to someone else.
Older Kids: Check out vss.30-31. Paul preached “with all confidence, no man forbidding him,”
but at this point, Paul is still in prison. What most people see an obstacle, God used as an
opportunity. What opportunities are you missing because of our “grumbling and complaining”.
Discussion Idea: How can God use us to share His word? Specifically, who is someone in your
life that you could reach out to this week with the hope of Jesus Christ?
Prayer Focus: Ask God to give you the opportunity to share the Good News with someone this week. Ask Him to give you the words to speak. Be bold - pray for the person you named above.
“He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23)