NT Fire Starters – Day 204: Acts 28:17-31
READ: Acts 28:17-31
THINK: The vast majority of people will always reject the truth about Jesus. His message will offend them. It won’t make sense to spiritually closed minds and hard hearts. God’s Word makes it clear that apart from Him we’re spiritually blind and under the influence of evil, so people reject the Word’s testimony about Jesus. And yet, the Church and it’s mission prevail. Jesus’ message will continue to spread. Eyes will be opened. Hearts will be softened. People will be set free. Lives will be transformed. The Holy Spirit’s power will be active in all who respond in faith, surrendering their lives to Christ. So never lose heart. You’re called to be part of this victorious mission, which evil forces will never defeat as the supernatural Acts of the Holy Spirit continue to flourish through Jesus’ followers for all time.
RESPOND: Why were people everywhere talking against faith in Christ (v. 22)? What do you think was the difference between those who believed Paul and those who did not (v. 24.)? Why were people offended by Paul’s final statement? In what ways did they hear but not understand? How were their eyes and ears closed and their hearts hardened (v. 27)? How are people today similar to the people back then in how they respond to the truth of Jesus? How was Paul’s preaching different than some ministers today when they find that their message offends people (v. 31)? While you must be able to convey Jesus’ message to people in understandable and relevant terms, in what ways must you still deliver the message “boldly and without hindrance” (v. 31) and without compromise? In what ways is the open-ended conclusion of the book of Acts appropriate as it relates to Jesus’ followers and the Church to this day? (See 28:31 note.) In what ways do the events in Acts serve as a pattern for God’s people today?
PRAY: Pray for peers at school, co-workers at your job, people in your community, and even your family members whose spiritual eyes, ears and hearts are currently closed to Christ. Pray that they would encounter His love through you in a way that makes them more receptive to a bold and uncompromised message of Jesus.
ACT: If you’re not already part of a Bible or prayer group at your school, investigate the opportunities and join an existing group. If there are none, talk to your youth leader for advice on starting one. For additional help and resources visit youth.ag.org and check out the tabs on Youth Alive and Campus Missions. If you’re already part of a club, start a dialogue about innovative ways to grow and reach your campus through acts of service and outreach.