Acts 22: 1-30
Thursday, 30 December 2021
‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.’ -Acts 22:14-15
The context of today’s reading is Paul’s self-defense and witnessing to an angry Jewish mob – one of the accounts of the dramatic conversion of Saul, the persecutor of the Church to Apostle Paul the missionary for Christ. Looking into the life of Paul, it is evident that he used every opportunity to share the gospel – be it in chains from a prison or facing the rulers and religious authorities. As children of God, we have a responsibility to witness Christ (Acts 1:8) and can learn some valuable lessons on witnessing from Paul’s message:
Be Vigilant To Use Every Opportunity
As Paul stood before an angry mob that wanted to do away with him (Acts 21:30-36), he saw it an opportunity to witness for the Lord. Only the one zealous for the Lord and compelled by the love of God, can withstand suffering and persecution to proclaim the Gospel. How often we ponder on what others may think of us and keep quiet, unwilling to share Christ. Can Paul’s zeal and boldness be an example to use every opportunity to witness the risen Lord? In 2Timothy 4:2 Paul instructs: ‘Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.’
Establish A Common Ground
Speaking in Aramaic – the common language among Jews, calling them brothers and father, and talking of his Jewish upbringing and zeal for the Jewish faith (Vs 1-3), Paul was establishing a relatable link with his Jewish audience. When we witness Christ we need to identify ourselves with the listeners and establish a common bond for them to be receptive. Paul says 1 Corinthians 9:22 “…I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
A Personal Testimony That Leads To Christ
Every believer has a testimony to share of their salvation and what the Lord has done in their lives. Paul’s conversion was nothing short of dramatic – of his past Paul himself says in Vs 4-5 ‘I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women …’ Paul’s Damascus encounter with the Lord, transformed him– as the light of the Gospel penetrated him. In surrender and repentance, Paul began his walk with the Lord. In obedience to God’s call and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Paul became a powerful witness and missionary to the Gentiles.
Paul’s testimony teaches us that, no matter one’s past, God’s mercy and love touches the hardest of hearts, cleanses the darkest sin and heals the deepest wound. How can one receive this gift of salvation? Romans 6:23 says: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. God’s love opened a way for us to be restored to Him. He sent Jesus Christ, His Son, to bear the punishment for our sins –death on cross, that whoever believes in Him will be saved. If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9).Dear friend: Jesus loves you and wants you to receive the joy of salvation and eternal life by trusting in Him. Receive His forgiveness that leads to your salvation today!
A Life Of Example
Witnessing also involves living a life of example. Paul practiced what he preached. It wasn’t just a declaration of what God had done in his life, but he lived a transformed life – obedient to the word of God. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” No matter how eloquently one may preach, unless our testimony reflects in our lives, we cannot be effective witnesses. May our lives be aligned with God’s Word such that we are a beacon of truth drawing others to the Saviour. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”(Matthew 5:16)
Be Encouraged To Continue Witnessing
When Paul mentions God’s plan for him to be a witness to the Gentiles, the Jewish crowd became angry again (Vs 22-23). While such a response may dishearten many, it does not deter Paul. Not everyone may be receptive to your message; do not let that discourage you. “…Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” (2 Timothy 4:5)
Let us be reminded of the Lord’s words in Matthew 9:37-38 “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” As the coming of the Lord is near, can we make a commitment to let go of our inhibitions and be an effective witness for Christ – to use every opportunity to share the joy of salvation that we have?
Prayer: Loving Heavenly Father, Thank you for your gift of salvation. Give me opportunities to share the good news to those around me in love and boldness. In Jesus’ name. Amen