They Spoke The Word Boldly
This title is the continued theme found in the book of Acts. Starting from the time Jesus’ disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit (in Chapter 2) all the way to the book’s final verses. The work of all disciples was to get the Word of God into the ears of anyone who might listen.
Just before He ascended to heaven, Jesus told His disciples that they would be baptized by the Holy Spirit, who would empower them to be His witnesses. And that is exactly what happened: God poured out His Spirit upon them, and immediately they began preaching, and all heard the word in their own tongue. Thousands repented, were baptized and became followers of Christ. There were many blessings, healings, wonders and miracles. Every time the Gospel was proclaimed, people came to believe. God’s plan was unfolding!
Then something else started happening. The devil rose up in opposition to stop the preaching of the Gospel. From the time the disciples began proclaiming the name of Jesus in Chapter 2, until the very last verses in Acts, there is an ongoing pattern:
Jesus’ disciples proclaimed His word
People were saved, healed and became followers of Jesus
The devil would oppose them – through troubles, threats, beatings, even death
God would deliver them through the opposition
They would immediately return to proclaiming Jesus
Nothing stopped them! Not even death! Their words, given by the Holy Spirit, continue to speak today – through Scripture and also our sharing of them.
The devil knows that the Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of those who believe. He knows that if he can stop this power of God from flowing through us, or distort it, or embellish it with lies or water it down, he can prevent people from being saved and eternally blessed.
Friends, I speak to you as a co-laborer, a fellow missionary. For over 30 years I have seen the word of God touch and transform thousands of people. I have also experienced the devil rising up to stop us.
He does this in two primary ways (as he in Acts):
- 1. He uses people to oppose our efforts. They threaten, persecute, cause troubles, and even kill.
- 2. He seeks to distract us with worries, desires for riches and pleasures; choking out our focus, time and energy.
But, we overcome such opposition by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony.
We overcome because we choose to abide in Christ; laying aside the temporary in order to store up treasures in heaven.
In patience and love we persevere, overcoming evil with good; knowing that:
It is the Word of God ~ revealed by the Spirit of God ~ shared by the people of God
and then received through prayer in which people are saved, transformed, blessed and renewed; giving hope and peace in Jesus. Untold treasures…
We must never forget that our primary mission in the care home is to share the Word of God, resulting in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Our lonely neighbors need this eternal treasure from us. This is the ultimate goal of God Cares Ministry: to help nursing home residents grow closer to Jesus through the sharing of God’s love, His word and through prayer. This is what we recruit Christians to do – this is why we provide training and resources – and for those who do this, we offer support. May God be glorified through all of us!
Let us join together in prayer for each other, that
by the power of God’s Holy Spirit we would fight the good fight of faith, never letting anything stop us from proclaiming God’s word to make disciples for our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Chaplain Bill