Lord Jesus, here I am at the end of the incredible story of the book of Acts. It has motivated me to love your Word more and become more determined to share its message with the world around me.
Paul was shipwrecked, but he and all the others make it safely to shore on the island of Malta. Paul collects firewood and promptly gets bitten by a poisonous viper. The locals freak out, but Paul just shakes off the snake and goes on about his business. Soon after, Publius, the governor, welcomes Paul and his crew. Publius’ father is sick and Paul prays for him and he recovers. As a result, the rest of the sick people on the island come to Paul and “they [are] all healed” (v 9). This was an unplanned healing revival, for sure. Three months later, on a different ship, Paul arrives in Rome and he immediately meets with the religious leaders there. They know nothing of him, only that the new brand of faith he preaches about is taking over everything and everybody! So Paul, ever the teacher and ever the evangelist, takes the opportunity to teach these leaders the Word of God from early morning to late at night. Despite the many difficulties Paul faced on his journey to Rome, the book of Acts concludes with a bold statement: “He bravely preached about God’s kingdom and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ, and no one tried to stop him” (v 31).
Despite all the wonderful things the apostles did—healed the sick, cast out demons, planted churches, and shared the gospel—they gave the glory to God. As you labor in the kingdom of God, check your ego so it does not get in the way of God’s work. Can you handle not being praised for your efforts? Would you be tempted to have people know about the work you did?
Take time to re-read chapters of this incredible book of the Bible. Pray that each time God will give you new revelation. Thank God for Jesus, our Savior, and for the brave men and women of the Early Church who shared God’s message with the world.
Lord, thank you for changing me and challenging me to live up to my calling as your disciple, and as one of your children. Let your Word always bring joy to my heart.