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Take the Initiative

Daily ReadingActs 28

 

For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain. (Acts 28.20)

 

Devotional Thought: The dreaded question: "Can I speak with the manager?"  Sometimes I ask that because I want to brag on a particularly good experience with an employee.  Good news is fun to share, and I like taking the initiative to do it.

 

We are counseled in scripture to be ready to take advantage of opportunities to share the gospel.  (See 1 Peter 3.15 and Colossians 4.5-6.)  But here in Acts 28, when Paul has finally made it to Rome, he doesn't wait for opportunities to come to him.  Instead, he reaches out to “the local leaders of the Jews”(v. 17) in order to explain why he was there.  After having given them the legal reason he was there, he gave them the real reason he wanted to see them: the hope of Israel, who is Jesus Christ himself.  I find it so challenging to see that Paul initiated the conversation about Jesus!

 

What initiatives do you take to tell people about Jesus?  Do you pray for opportunities and watch for them?  Do you have a plan, a method, or a schedule?  We need to be prayerfully coming up with strategies to reach those who do not know The Hope of Israel!  It starts with prayer.  Yesterday we prayed that God would open the eyes of the lost.  Today, we need to pray that he would open our eyes to the Lost!  When Jesus saw the masses and multitudes, he saw them as "sheep without a shepherd."  His heart broke over what he saw.

 

What do you see in the masses and multitudes?  People to fear?  People to avoid?  Or like Jesus, do you see people who have lost hope?  Will you take the initiative to give them the hope of Jesus?

 

Prayer: Lord, all around me are people harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Send me forth, O Lord, with the hope of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 78:17-31

17 Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert.

18 They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved.

19 They spoke against God, saying, "Can God spread a table in the wilderness?

20 He struck the rock so that water gushed out and streams overflowed. Can he also give bread or provide meat for his people?"

21 Therefore, when the LORD heard, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob; his anger rose against Israel,

22 because they did not believe in God and did not trust his saving power.

23 Yet he commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven,

24 and he rained down on them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven.

25 Man ate of the bread of the angels; he sent them food in abundance.

26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens, and by his power he led out the south wind;

27 he rained meat on them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas;

28 he let them fall in the midst of their camp, all around their dwellings.

29 And they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved.

30 But before they had satisfied their craving, while the food was still in their mouths,

31 the anger of God rose against them, and he killed the strongest of them and laid low the young men of Israel.

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