The Next Two Years
21 February 2009
The Next Two Years
30 For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense. He welcomed all who visited him, 31 boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him. (Acts 28:30-31 NLT)
Paul was a missionary. God called Paul to missions ministry because he was more cosmopolitan than most Jews, he had no strong ties to a particular place, he could endure hardship, and had no desire to accumulate wealth and possessions.
During the parts of his life we know about, he spent longer periods of time in Antioch, Corinth, and Ephesus. But he always moved on. Now he was unavoidably detained. He had spent two years in prison in Caesarea Philippi awaiting trial, then four or five months of travel, now two years under house arrest in Rome.
We know that those two years were productive in terms of Paul’s daily meetings with those who came to visit him and that the message of Christ spread throughout Rome, even making converts in Caesar’s court.
But the big thing is the writing. Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 2 Timothy, and Philemon, during his imprisonment in Rome. Think of the truths revealed in these letter-books and think what life and faith would be without them!
There are seasons of life and ministry. God loves us so much he calls to use our strengths and our gifts in difference-making Spirit-empowered ways. But God also requires us to do some things that are not as joy-making because he has longer-range and deeper-impact purposes for us. We must keep functioning and find new ways to use our gifts and abilities when the seasons and circumstances of our lives change.
Father, I’ve never been more aware of the changing of seasons. Just as the weather and earth and grass and trees respond to the seasons, please help me respond in faith-filled and creative ways to the changing seasons of my life. Amen.