Saturday, November 21, 2009

2009 – Day 324.Nov 21 – Contentment Spreads

Passage for Study: Acts 16: 16 - 40 … Acts 16 linked for study …

2nd Scripture Reference: Philippians 1: 12 - 18 … Linked for study …

My Journal for Today: Have you ever been around a truly contented, self-assured individual, … one that exudes confidence and self-direction? Well if you have, you know that his/her confidence and self-assurance is catching. You feel at ease or maybe excited around such a person, don’t you? And when that person has a story to tell, you want to hear it, don’t you?

Well, that was the Apostle Paul, chained to a Roman prison guard, ready and willing to witness to his love for Christ and how Christ had given him purpose and direction and contentment. Paul would tell his story to anyone who’d listen, … even the prison guards to whom he was chained in Rome. And that message began to spread through ranks of the prison guards from each guard who was assigned to watch Paul. I an just imagine them telling their compatriots about the Jew who’s life was changed from hatred to love by another Jew who died on a cross and was raised to life from the dead. Some scholars feel that the message got out to several thousand who were assigned to be prison guards in Rome at the time.

Really that is the fulfillment of what we read in Acts 1: 8, isn’t it? In that passage we read that we become witnesses for Christ anywhere and anytime we’re willing to be His witnesses to the world. And Paul certainly was that as the Gospel message spread from one prisoner willing to tell his story to one guard … and then another and then another, each of whom became excited to tell that story about Paul and Christ to another, then another, and then another.

Swindoll today teaches that several things happen when one – like you or me – is available and willing to witness our faith. First he writes that the Gospel is always accelerated, never delayed When we share our story, God pours His gas of grace on the fires of our desire to share Him with others. God will enable the spreading of His Name if we’re willing to share it with others.

Secondly, when we’re witnessing God’s truth the edge of the message is sharpened, never dulled. The more you share Christ with others it becomes that two-edged sword which is spoken about in Heb. 4: 12. Speaking of Christ or about Christ is speaking about the Living Word, His truth; and speaking the “Gospel-truth” is speaking like the double-edged sword spoken of in that verse.

Finally, sharing Christ always strengthens others, never weakens them. When people hear of your story of transformation, wrought in your relationship with Christ, they identify with the need for that kind of change and they are uplifted, never put down. Sharing Christ with others is sharing light in the midst of darkness; and it draws people to the light like moths to the flame.

So, when you’re available and willing to share your witness, … your story, about Christ with another who will listen, it’s like you’ve cast a stone (a big one) into the pond of life; and you and I both know what will happen. Its plunging effects will cause a ripple which will cascade outward. And that’s what Paul’s message of hope in Christ had in that Roman prison. But what if Paul had remained silent, … unwilling to cast the stone in the pond of his prison, his guards would have gone on with their hum-drum life and many of them would have never felt the ripples of love being cascaded outward from God’s message of truth and hope. Think about that the next time you have a divine appointment and you’re available to share Christ with someone.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I’m convicted that I don’t throw the rock of Your message into the pond of my life as often as You give me opportunities. Help me to be emboldened and to share You more; and give me those divine appointments to do so. Amen

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