My church is currently being challenged to read the entire New Testament of the bible in eight weeks. That’s a lot of reading, and calls for a heavy commitment each day and each week. I am in a couple of different bible studies at my church and we are going through these readings as our curriculum for these eight weeks. I just finished up my reading today for week four. It sure has been a challenge, but it has also been an amazing experience to read so much of the bible in rapid succession. It allows me to make connections between the books of the bible that I hadn’t made before and helps to provide a clearer view of the bigger picture that the New Testament paints.
One of the things that I was really struck with from week two – but also into these past two weeks as well – was how ready and willing the apostles were to actively pursue the will of God and carry out his work in any and every circumstance. As we read through the book of Acts, Luke explains what the early church was like and details out much of Paul’s missionary journeys and parts of his imprisonments. While Paul was a prisoner being transported to Rome, the ship he was on got caught in a nasty storm, and everyone on board ended up shipwrecked on an island where they did not intend to land. However, even as a shipwrecked prisoner, Paul kept focused on doing God’s work:
“There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured.” – Acts 28:87-9
Not only there, but Paul continued to preach, even while a prisoner under house arrest in Rome:
“For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” – Acts 28:30
It came up during one of our discussions how Paul did not waste any time wondering or complaining about his circumstances. He simply sets to work, wherever life may take him. How often do I try to analyze my situation, try to figure out what God must be trying to teach me through my trials, or even complain and grumble about inconveniences that I encounter? How much more productive would it be for me to stop worrying about the “why” – and instead focus on how I can serve God in my present circumstance?
We are called to be active in our faith and to use whatever we do have for God’s glory. This week’s reading including the “Armor of God” passage from Ephesians, and this line really hit me:
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” – Ephesians 6:14-15
Our shoes are supposed to be laced up, so that we are ready to go. Wherever God calls us or wherever life may unexpectedly take us, we should be ready to do the work of God.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10
So this is my challenge to myself: to always keep my eyes focused on Jesus so that I will be ready to do his will, even when when circumstances leave me feeling shipwrecked.
Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Happy Gilmore. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!