Jesus, open my eyes to your miraculous power and give me understanding into this final chapter of the book of Acts.
Americans love a good story of perseverance under trial and victory against the odds. The story of the hard-working immigrant who comes to America penniless, yet overcomes obstacles to rise to prominence and prosperity moves our hearts no matter how many times we hear it.
The extraordinary story of God’s servants overcoming all odds to proclaim the gospel of Christ begins in Jerusalem and ends in Rome. The Church expands greatly, propelled by the power of the Holy Spirit. As it grew, the new converts are filled with the Holy Spirit which inspires their preaching, prophecies, dreams, miracles, healings, and ability to deliver others from demonic forces. They undergo myriad trials, but, through it all, their courage remains strong. The last chapter of the incredible narrative of the birth of the Church displays once again the power of the Holy Spirit when Paul heals the father of Publius the governor, and all the sick on the island of Malta.
Paul and his entourage make it to Rome where he preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jewish leaders. The response he receives is limited. Yet, once again, the Gentiles respond more positively. Paul is not deterred by this because the last verse of this extraordinary book of Acts highlights Paul’s relentless proclamation of the gospel, with great boldness, to all who would listen.
If you have never placed your hands on someone while you prayed to God for their healing, what holds you back? What gave Paul such boldness to persevere in preaching the gospel to all who would listen even after he encountered such resistance?
Ask God for faith to believe him for the miraculous and for courage to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Lord, thank you for what you’ve done and continue to do through your servants, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to the praise of Jesus Christ. I surrender myself to your service and the expansion of the kingdom of God.