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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

August 12, 2013 - Captive Opportunities

By William E. Richardson

"Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him" (Acts 28:30, NKJV).

The apostle Paul faithfully traveled and preached. But one day his adventures over gravel roads and open waters came to a halt. He was taken to Rome as a prisoner of the state. While awaiting trial before Caesar, the grounded missionary was essentially under house arrest for two full years.

But Paul didn't despair. Whether boldly spreading the gospel across the known world or shut in under the watchful eye of a Roman guard (Acts 28:16), Paul served Jesus. God had previously assured the apostle, "My grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9). In his confinement, Paul lived in God's grace.

Paul knew human limitations didn't limit God. He had seen God turn limitations into opportunities too often. After all, people in Rome needed to hear about Jesus too.

The faith of Paul radiated to those around him. The guards who kept watch over him were actually his captive audience. His witness spread so that the "whole palace guard" knew of Paul's faith (Philippians 1:13). He could later write about those who had become Christians "who are of Caesar's household" (Philippians 4:22).

Paul's time in Rome also let him slow down. Gone was the life-risking, dramatic pace he'd been living. During his imprisonment, Paul wasn't being beaten, debated, falsely accused, pursued by mobs, or facing other dangers he had for nearly 30 years.

The imprisoned apostle had plenty of time to write to churches he had started. During the years in Rome, it is believed Paul penned the New Testament books of Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon. We call them the "prison epistles." Their tone isn't somber, but optimistic and joyous.

Fellow Christians and nonbelievers alike visited Paul. The local Jewish leaders left with mixed opinions (Acts 28:23,24). The slave Onesimus sought Paul and became a Christian. Friends came and went, some encouraging the captive apostle, some being spiritually refreshed by him.

Today, whatever limitation you're facing, allow them to become God's opportunities. Like Paul during his detainment, your present restrictions can witness for Jesus. Pray for strength and guidance. Live in God's grace. Watch how He uses your present situation for His purposes.

— William E. Richardson is senior pastor of Afton (Iowa) Assembly of God and blogs at lights4god.wordpress.com.

 

 

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