Lord, we pray that we would follow the example of the apostle Paul regarding his constant pursuit and creativity when preaching to the lost, so that those we encounter can experience a new life in the kingdom of God.
As we read this passage, we are fascinated by the multi-faceted methodologies used by Paul to evangelize. First, he came across believers who were aware of the baptism of John but were ignorant of Christ’s redemptive work. Rather than belittle them, Paul was able to connect their limited knowledge of salvation to the full scope of redemption through Christ’s resurrection. This resulted in them being baptized in the name of Jesus and in the Holy Spirit! This is a model of how believers can help bring people with limited knowledge of the Christian faith to a more complete faith in Christ.
Later, Paul found common ground with people in another city, so he went into a synagogue to reason with the Jews. When he wore out his welcome, he took the Lord’s followers and lectured in a hall for several hours a day (in the style of the Greek philosophers). Paul was very successful this time because, within two years, everyone in that region of Asia heard the Word of the Lord.
God also extended Paul’s ministry by performing miracles with handkerchiefs and aprons taken from Paul’s body, so that the gospel spread even when he wasn’t physically present! The lesson is that when we are faithful and do our part to spread the gospel, God will bless and multiply our efforts for his glory.
Do you take advantage of the opportunity to share a more complete gospel with your neighbors who have limited knowledge of the Christian faith? When you face opposition or have little success in sharing your faith, do you easily give up or do you ask God for a more creative way to bring forth the good news? Do you rely upon your own wisdom or do you depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit to win the lost?
Look for an opportunity today to share your faith with a neighbor, building upon anything you have in common in regards to faith in God, so that you can bring them into a more complete understanding of salvation in Christ Jesus.
Lord, thank you for giving us creativity and wisdom that enable us to share our faith. Give us the insight of the Holy Spirit so that we can skillfully communicate the Word of God to those you divinely assign to us.