Sunday, December 19, 2010

January 16 (Genesis 17; Matthew 16; Nehemiah 6; Acts 16)

In terms of personal evangelism one of the most beautifully encouraging passages for me is Acts 16. Paul had just received a miraculous vision indicating that he was to go West into Macedonia (God leads His people). In the first city they visit (Philippi) there is not even enough Jewish presence for a Synagogue to have formed. All Paul and his companions could find were some women coming together to pray down by the riverside. If it were me at this point I think I might start doubting that divine vision. I am thankful, however, that it was not I, but Paul.

Paul does something beautiful. He simply speaks the gospel to these women. Then the Lord does something beautiful to one woman there named Lydia. He “opens her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.”(v.14) Incredible! Paul speaks, God opens, and Lydia responds. That is always the sequence. Simply beautiful! But it is also encouraging.

Do we realize that unless God opens a heart nothing we say will be able to pray it loose? If we really realized this we would be praying all the time (even as we are talking to people) for God to open the hearts of the people to whom we speak. God really is in charge of all things, even the impenitent hearts of those who reject Christ. Our job is to speak the message to them, pray for divine opening, and then trust that He does all things well!

1 comment:

  1. The only thing I could add to this Bro David is to know when and how to shake the dust from our feet when the message is falling on a hard heart or insensitive ears. The Lord has his time to soften a heart and it will happen in His time. So often I find myself praying and witnessing and without fruit. I now stop and shake my feet off, sometimes right in front of them to let it be known that God does not want me chasing a fox thinking its a deer, or barking on a cold trail, just for those hunters. The worse is when we have real feelings for those we would like to see saved. Is there a example like that in the Bible? Bro Doug