Happy Monday! Today’s devotion concludes our reading and review of the book of Acts. As I wrote earlier, the book or this chapter doesn’t end as I expected, but God in His faithfulness ensured Apostle Paul’s safety and allowed Paul to preach in Rome. Join me as we finish the final verses in Acts chapter 28.
Bible Verse- Acts 28:23-31 NLT
“23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet:
26 “‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
27 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes,and hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]
28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”  [b]
30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!”
The end of the chapter did not conclude with Paul being physically set free. We did not read that Paul was tried in Rome and proven innocent. Yet, it gives us a greater picture of the freedom Paul had because of Christ Jesus – no one had heard about his prior ordeal, but the door was opened for Paul to share the Christian faith (the Good News) with the Jewish leaders and others in Rome.
Paul followed what had been done in the past – the Jewish people heard the Good News first and then Paul ministered to the Gentiles. Paul ministered to the Jewish leaders and others who listened, but some believed and others did not.
Sisters and brothers, even today there are some who believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the son of God, who came and died for our sins, and God the Father raised Jesus from the dead on the third day reconciling man to God and then there are others who believe do not.
While it is written in the Old Testament that: people’s heart had become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them – we know ears and eyes are closed today.
Sisters and brothers, the book of Acts has taught us so much about the Christian faith, our walk with the Lord, our ability to remain faithful to God even when we cannot see the next step. Let us continue to be believers who walk by faith – hearing and seeing what the Lord is doing and take part of the greater mission to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth until the day our Savior and Lord calls us home.
May the Lord soften any area of your heart that is calloused, open your eyes to see Him at work, and open our ears so that you may understand and walk in obedience.
Father God we thank you for your endless mercy, love, and grace. We thank you for never leaving us abandoned. We thank you for sending your son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. Lord Jesus, forgive us of our sins (known and unknown). We desire to turn away from our sins – help us to put them down and turn to you. Lord, wherever there is an ounce of our being that refuses to align with your will for us, soften that area and remove the callousness from within us. Lord, we want to be forever hearing, seeing and understanding of what you are doing in our lives and in the world. Lord, as you transform us – remove the spirit of anger, bitterness, resentment, and vengeance from us right now in the name of Jesus. Lord, keep changing us daily so that people will see you at work in us. Lord, may our speech and actions be aligned with your truth and not a twisted truth. Lord, thank you for the book of Acts. May we all apply the living word to our lives. Continue to heal those who are sick, depressed, and anxious; and comfort those who are grieving today. Open doors of employment for those who are seeking – bless them with an organization that is stable, has a good culture, and that they will have a wonderful supervisor who cares about their well-being, growth and development. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
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