Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guided by the spirit, strengthened by the spirit in ministry

S - Acts 28:7-8, 28-31 (NASB)

... stranded on the island of Malta
7 Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us courteously three days. 8 And it happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 After this had happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured. 10 They also honored us with many marks of respect; and when we were setting sail, they supplied us with all we needed.

... finally in Rome, teaching to the Jewish leaders

28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen.” 29 [When he had spoken these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves.]
 30 And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.

O -  It is inspiring to be able to watch Paul's ministry.   Who would have ever planned on using shipwrecked, and imprisoned journey to Rome, to stand trial before Caesar as a means to spending two years in the most influential city in the world at the time, teaching,  for the most part freely and unencumbered.  The key for Paul lay in his clear receipt of direction from the holy spirit.  Before heading to Jerusalem, even with a prophet foretelling of his imprisonment, he knew by the spirit that he was to go to Jerusalem.   During his trip to Rome, while in certain peril the spirit gave him a clear vision of their safe arrival and certain fate and he walked by faith in that, ministering right then and there to the fearful sailors and inmates; when shipwrecked he ministered to the people of Malta, and when finally arriving in Rome he preached to the Jews as well as the gentiles.  

A - The application for me is this,  I must be ready to follow Paul's footsteps in my own personal ministry.  I have been called,  to lead and develop leaders in the next generation.  I need to follow Paul's example of Holy Spirit discernment, as well as boldly teaching truth to all who will listen.  This requires a increasing understanding and relationship of the Holy Spirit, a good knowledge of the truth, and a confident yet humble exhortation of truth to all whom will listen. 

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray Lord that you would be a beacon unto my path in the ministry you are calling me to.  I pray that you would equip me with your truth, grant me the peace and boldness to proclaim your truth, and give me the humbleness to  ensure others know and glorify you, and not me.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen. 

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