Monday, June 12
In this section of scripture, I was most impressed with Paul’s focus on his purpose, to preach the kingdom of God and to teach the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 28:31) all through confrontations, imprisonments, and wild storms at sea. Throughout these major crises, Paul kept his cool and stuck to his mission. He saw every crowd, every Jewish leader or government official as an opportunity to share the good news.
Many times in our lives, we face overwhelming situations or things that aren’t fair and each time we have a decision to make. Do you lose yourself to the circumstances that surround you or do you stay focused on your mission? Have you made a conscious realization or decision about your purpose in life? If not, take a moment to write down and define your purpose. Here are a few scriptures that might help:
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
“This is the great and foremost commandment.
“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
These sections of scripture give a basis for our purpose. Love God, love your neighbor, go and preach the gospel to all creation and baptize them, and teach them all that Jesus taught. Paul was entirely focused on this, so much so, that being accused by leaders in the Jewish community did not deter him, nor did he get shaken when the governor imprisoned and questioned him. He still maintained his calm and focus as he appealed to Caesar. He used each situation as an opportunity to speak truth. I found this section to be confrontational personally because there are times when I do lose my focus. I only see what is happening around me and start to feel overwhelmed instead of putting my attention on God and the purpose He has given me! We have power through the holy spirit just as Paul did.
We can harness our minds, no matter what our situation whether it is good or bad, to accomplish our mission. We may be unjustly accused, people may lie and scheme against us, or we may even be imprisoned or face major storms in life…but we can look beyond the surface and fulfill our purpose by loving people enough to share the gospel and spread the truth. Go be a Paul!