7TH WEEK OF EASTER

 

Without hindrance he proclaimed the Kingdom of God.

 

Paul was under house arrest.   As he awaited his trial in Rome, he lived by himself with a soldier guarding him, and people continued to visit him (Acts 28:16).   “Without hindrance,” Luke tells us, he “proclaimed the Kingdom of God” (28:31).

Paul’s example of sharing the gospel in such challenging conditions tells us that no matter what our circumstances, God still provides opportunities for us to share our faith.   Perhaps you are reading this meditation from inside a prison cell.   Or maybe you feel stuck at home with small children or tied to your desk at your job.   Even if your situation feels confining, it is not a hindrance to sharing the gospel.   Like Paul, you can still find opportunities to tell people about the Lord and what he has done in your life.

How reassuring this is!   Our circumstances don’t have to prevent us from responding to Jesus’ commandment to “go, . . . and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

This is also a reason to rejoice. Jesus told us how much joy there is in heaven when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7).   But did you know that sharing the gospel leads to more joy in our lives as well?   We aren’t talking about the kind of joy that arises when all our problems dissolve.   We are talking about the kind that comes from sharing the gift of God’s love and forgiveness.   It’s the joy that comes as we are reminded of Jesus’ mercy and how he has brought us into a relationship with him.

Even in prison and facing the possibility of execution, Paul must have found great joy in making the most of every opportunity that God gave him to proclaim his word.   Ultimately, Paul’s goal wasn’t to escape his difficult circumstances.   It was to follow Jesus in all circumstances—and to tell others about him.   Today, let’s reflect on his example and ask Jesus how he is inviting us to share him with the people around us.

“Open my eyes, Lord, to the opportunities that you have set before me.”

Psalm 11:4-5, 7
John 21:20-25

WORD AMONG US