I just finished up the Book of Acts in my daily reading. Wow! What a fantastic record of the history of God’s church! The giving of the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2. The first deacons in Acts chapter 6. Persecution starting in the church and the Gospel then being taken to the then known world. The conversion of Paul the Apostle on the road to Damascus. Peter, the Jew, going to the gentiles to preach the Gospel. All the miracles and healings that took place. And all the stoning’s, beatings, shipwrecks, imprisonment and even death, just for believing in Jesus! We really have it easy in the wonderful U.S.A. don’t we?
In the last 2 verses of Acts 28 Luke writes, “For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance (NIV)!” Church history tells us that Paul was later martyred by Nero, but, “For two whole years…Paul taught with all boldness and without hindrance.” Paul was later released from prison, went on another missionary journey and was again imprisoned under Nero, and this time his living conditions were not so nice. He wrote II Timothy during his second imprisonment. Here he was held in a cold dungeon and was chained like a common criminal, just for proclaiming the Gospel! He told his mentor Timothy in the 2nd Epistle, 4th chapter verses 6-8, “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” So here are two different seasons in Paul’s life while he was imprisoned. One where he enjoyed his freedom even though he was in prison, and one where he was ready to be poured out like a drink offering to the Lord. He understood that Heaven was near and that he was going to receive that crown! I don’t know what you are going through right now. But I do know Someone that does. I am not sure what your heartaches are but I do know Someone that wants to help you through them. I Peter 1:7 tells us to, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” Here’s the definition of anxiety: “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” Couldn’t that definition fit just about every one of us in one way or another? Money issues, relationship issues or maybe health issues, He wants to take them from you and give you peace! This is what that word cast means in the Greek: “to cast upon, give up to God.” Give Him a try!
Please let me know if you need anything. Naomi and I love you all. -Pastor Steve