We entered our sixth and final week in the study, Power for the World, where we were reminded of God’s power at work in us in every situation, in every place we find ourselves:
His power is at work in us. In Acts 17:29-34, Paul points at the power which raised Christ from the dead.Â ‘Power’ – is the word ‘dynamis’ in the Greek – we get our word dynamite from this root. This is not only power but achieving power. It’s power in operation. Ephesians 1:19-20, NLT: “I also pray that you will understand God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” This is the same power now residing in us. His power works in us, equipping us to do what we cannot do on our own. We may not be called to speak to the masses. We may be called to share with one person at a time. Paul preached to the many that day in Athens. Some laughed (verse 32) but “some joined him and became believers” (verse 34). Be encouraged to share your faith.
- There is purpose in all we go experience. In Acts 18:1-4, we find Paul becoming acquainted with a couple. Aquila, Priscilla, and Paul all end up in Corinth due to political and government decisions. Being deported served a greater purpose in their lives and in the Church and in our lives as well, as they were included in Scripture. This “chance” meeting was not at all by chance but it was planned out by God before the beginning of time.
We can move beyond fear. In Acts 18:5-11, we find our friend Paul facing opposition. I love that the Lord comes to him and says three things: “Don’t be afraid!”; “Speak out!”; “Don’t be silent!” (verse 9). And in the NLT, they all have exclamation point. Why was Paul (and us as well) able to do these three? Because God has continually promised to be with us. Fear can be so paralyzing. We don’t move forward because we fear what may happen if we were to proceed. May we remember that God goes with us. In fact, He goes before us! If He is leading us, He is there already. Move forward today for God is with you, equipping and enabling you.
- There are times we are to be silent. In Acts 18: 18-22, we find Paul brought before Gallio of Achaia, where some of the Jews wanted him judged for preaching the Gospel. As Paul was about to defend himself, God stepped in and instead used Gallio, who did not yet know or understand Christ, to come to Paul’s defense. There is wisdom in knowing when to speak, and when to stay silent.
- We all have a “mission field”. Paul did much traveling, from church to church, to encourage and strengthen believers. We may never travel to a mission field, but we may have opportunity to encourage someone who is a missionary, or is going on a missions trip. We may never take a “missions trip” but we all have a “mission field”. Look for opportunities to visit, strengthen, and encourage others. This is the plan God has laid out for us in Scripture. We can spread the aroma of Jesus everywhere we go. Someone needs you – your story, your encouragement, your gifts. You have been placed where you are for a reason. Jesus wants for you to be a display of Him right where you are in this moment.
Our time in the study Power for the World comes to a close with this timely reminder:
Our stories are needed.
“Don’t be afraid!
“Don’t be silent!”
Today I am joining … Inspire Me Monday .