Acts 17:1-15 Saturday, 25 July 2020
“Now … they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures…” -Acts 17:1-2
Acts, the history book of the New Testament gives an eyewitness account of how the Holy Spirit used men, filled with the power of God like Apostle Paul and others to birth the church in several places. This Chapter records the birthing in Thessalonica, Berea and Athens. Paul first, went to the Synagogues at most places he visited and only then to the market places to proclaim Christ. This “was his custom” states the key verse above. Strange that Paul, known as the Apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 1:16; 2:7) was going to the Jews first. However, a study will reveal that Paul’s prepared plan of action for his ministry of evangelism was based on the Scriptures. It was in perfect alignment with the plan of God. The Lord had foretold about him to Ananias, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel” (Acts 9:15).
Our Lord had set the blueprint for evangelism in Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The Ministry of the twelve apostles went along this geographical sequence. Luke the writer gives an account of the movement of the Gospel away from Jerusalem after the ascension of Jesus and also from Jews to the Gentiles in keeping with the principle above.
Paul also followed the same sequence, “to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
In his defense before King Agrippa, Paul said ‘‘Consequently, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles…..” (Acts 26:19-20).
The above could also be the reason why Paul started churches but did not stay there, instead left it in the hands of capable disciples and moved on to take the gospel to the then known world. Likewise most of us desire to work for the Kingdom of God. But...
Do we study the Scripture enough to know what God wants?
Do we have a plan of action proportionate to the gift and talent that God has placed within us for His work?
If we do have a plan are they aligned with God’s plan so that it can be endued with power from above?
Are we prepared to move when God asks us to?
On hearing the ruin of Jerusalem walls, Nehemiah wept and prayed to God to give him favour in the sight of king to restore it. The next day when the King asked why his countenance was sad Nehemiah told him the reason. The King then asked him “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time.” (Neh. 2:6). Nehemiah had his God ordained plan ready when the King asked him so he was able to mobilize with all the support and help of the king. In a similar manner let us also prepare ourselves with a plan in alignment with the prophecies spoken over our lives so that at the right time the Lord can mobilize us. 1 Timothy 4:14 “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.”
Be sensitive to God’s call in reaching people for Him!
Quote for the Day: Evangelization is a process of bringing the gospel to people where they are, not where you would like them to be… When the gospel reaches a people where they are, their response to the gospel is the church in a new place... -Vincent Donovan