Thursday, May 24, 2012

Using every opportunity

     As I have pointed out before, Paul was a great user of every opportunity to witness to the resurrected Lord, to share the Truth with all who had ears to hear, and to challenge his listeners in the most gracious way possible to broaden their vision and open their hearts.  Today's experience in the Acts has the commander of the garrison freeing Paul and convening a hearing before the Sadducees and the Pharisees.  Paul was a Pharisee.  These groups differed in their belief, with the Pharisees being open to resurrection from the dead and angels and spirits, and the Sadducees rejecting such things.   In the middle of this was Paul, witnessing to the resurrection of Jesus and speaking of the Spirit of God guiding and directing his life.  His life was in jeopardy, until the commander removed him to a safe place.  The Lord had other things in store, for he told him that as he witnessed in Jerusalem, so he would witness in Rome.  It was Paul's claim of Roman citizenship that made that trip to the emperor possible, with its subsequent opportunities for witness.

     Do we use every opportunity to bear witness to the Risen Lord?  Are we ready to be cast into the midst of controversy to proclaim who we are and what we believe?  Jesus' prayer for his followers in the Gospel of John (Jn 17:20-26) has him saying "I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one..."  He prays for us, and for those who will believe in him through our testimony.

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