“So Paul entered the synagogue and spoke out fearlessly for three months, addressing and convincing them about the kingdom of God. But when some were stubborn and refused to believe, reviling the Way before the congregation, he left them and took the disciples with him, addressing them every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all who lived in the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.” – Acts 19:8-10 (emphasis added)
A few months ago, I was at a dinner party with a few friends. We were seated at a table with friends and acquaintances, but there was one couple at the table that none of us knew. After getting to know each other, it came up that some of us went to the same church. Our new friend said they had moved to town, but they weren’t really into the whole church scene as they had seen so many wounded by the church. My friend Katy, who is fearless and a great example of a woman in tune with the work of the Spirit, didn’t skip a beat.
“Tell me more.” She pressed into their story in the most non-threatening and gentle way.
Katy was fearless, she was curious, and she was in tune with the Holy Spirit’s work. Her love for God and people is contagious, and although she doesn’t travel city to city, she is taking part in God’s work here in our town.
Sometimes when I’m reading the book of Acts I’m struck at how different my life is from the apostle Paul’s. His one mission was to proclaim Christ, and he traveled from town to town proclaiming the Good News. He did it with relentless focus – something I’m incredibly envious of. I have four children, so I’m not doing much traveling these days, but I am seeing teachers and grocery clerks, neighbors, co-workers, and friends. Although our circumstances are different, our goal is the same as Paul’s: proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.
The Great Commission says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). This isn’t just Paul’s anthem, it’s ours as well. This is what drove my friend Katy to share her story of goodness and grace. This is what pushes us to be fearless, like Paul, in our proclamation of the Good News.
Our mission, whether we’re employees, bosses, mothers, or friends is to proclaim the good work Christ has done in our lives. Some of us might travel city to city, relying on the Holy Spirit to guide us. Many of us stay in the same city, relying on the Holy Spirit to guide our words when we’re interacting with our coworkers, children, neighbors, and other people the Lord brings our way.
It can be easy to look at the book of Acts and think Paul’s fearless pursuit of sharing the Gospel was only for his time and season. But just as the Good News of Jesus changed lives back in the first century, it still is changing lives today.
This week, as you read Acts, let the testimony of Paul and the work of the Holy Spirit encourage you. Spend some time in prayer asking God to give you boldness in the spaces He’s placed you. Ask God to help you listen to the Spirit’s leading in your own life and the lives of others. And remember God’s promise to us as you go and share His Good News: He is with us always, even to the ends of the earth.
Week 5 Challenge:
We are commanded to make disciples of all nations. What are you doing today to make disciples? What can you do this week to continue spreading the truth of the gospel and making disciples?
Week 5 Reading Plan:
Week 5 Memory Verse: