Prayer; Dear God in Christ Jesus we praise thee. Glory to god always. Bless us today Lord with Your Grace. We Love You lord ad thank You Lord for all that You have done in Christ Jesus. We pray for all people.Glory to God in the highest. in Jesus name we pray...
Today's Lesson: Upheld by God (Acts 28:16-25, 28-31)
(Note: The italicized words in this lesson may be used as discussion questions.)
Several years ago, I traveled to Mexico on a short-term mission trip. I had no idea what to expect when I got there. I found myself living in a foreign country where I was unable to read or speak the language, or understand the culture, but I knew I would be there for about a week to construct a home for a needy family. This experience, and several others, taught me the importance of relying upon God in unknown situations.
(Have you ever visited a foreign land? If so, where did you go? What was your experience like? What were some of the cultural differences?)
In today’s text, Paul preaches in Rome. Imagine what it must have been like to live in Rome during the first century. Imagine the crowds, spectacles, and events Paul may have witnessed or heard about. Consider how Paul, a man from a foreign land with different beliefs, endured in the midst of this city. In what ways did God uphold Paul? In what ways does God uphold us? God upholds us . . . .
Wherever We Go (Acts 28:16-20)
Notice verse 16, “When we got to Rome.” Paul traveled from somewhere. Paul had a starting point on his way to Rome. Later in verse 17, Paul says, “I was arrested in Jerusalem.” Paul’s journey to Rome originated in Jerusalem. From Jerusalem to Rome, God upheld Paul to proclaim the message about Jesus.
People today can travel across countries in only a few hours. If we board a plane in New York City in the morning, we can arrive in Los Angeles by lunchtime. And we can carry “the hope” of Jesus Christ wherever we go. Think about the last place you carried the message of Jesus. Did you take that message home, to work, to the neighbor down the street, or even to a different culture?
(Where can you proclaim the message of Jesus? Do we need to travel to some land far away? Why or why not?)
Whenever We Speak (Acts 28:21-25)
Upon arriving in Rome, Paul sent word that he wanted to meet and speak with the leaders of the Jews. A date was set, and a few days later, Paul proclaimed the message of Jesus from morning till evening. The Greek words used for “from morning till evening” in this text are proi heos hespera, which mean from “the fourth watch of the night, from 3 o’clock in the morning until 6 o’clock approximately” to “evening or eventide.” Paul spoke, taught, and explained things for a very long time.
Perhaps we should be ready to proclaim the message whenever we may need too. If it requires us to get up early and meet someone for breakfast instead of rushing off to work, then we should set aside the time to do so. If it requires us to stay awake a little longer, we should make that small sacrifice and be willing to talk to that person about Jesus. When was the last time you set aside time to speak with someone about Jesus?
(Do you like to get up early? Do you like to stay up late? Why should we set aside time to speak to someone about Jesus?)
Whomever We Speak To (Acts 28:28-31)
After speaking to the Jews, Paul declared, “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” (v. 28). Paul realized the message of Jesus wasn’t just for the Jews, but for everyone. Paul knew that all people, including whoever we speak to, needed to hear this message.
(Why is the message of Jesus not limited to people who look like us, speak like us, and think like we think? What kinds of people are so “different” that you would have trouble sharing Jesus with them?
Perhaps, we should pray that we will teach about Jesus boldly and without hindrance. Will you talk about Jesus wherever you go, whenever you speak, and to whomever you speak with?
(Why would you pray to teach about Jesus boldly and without hindrance?)
*All Scripture references are from the New International Version, unless otherwise indicated.
HOME DAILY BIBLE READINGS
Aug. 23: Acts 9:23-30
Aug. 24: Psalm 46
Aug. 25: Psalm 121
Aug. 26: Psalm 119:114-117
Aug. 27: Acts 28:1-15
Aug. 28: Philippians 4:15-20
Aug. 29: Acts 28:16-25a, 28-31
Give and share The Joy of Jesus Today... Gob Bless You.