Today's reading: Acts 28:17-30
Acts 28 records Paul’s arrival at his final earthly destination. Paul has had quite an experience since being arrested. And on the surface, his arrest and imprisonment look like such a restriction and hindrance. But Paul's incarceration by the Roman government was part of God's plan, and as we know from the benefit of hindsight, it accomplished much for Christ. These final chapters of Acts highlight how God’s plan doesn’t always align with ours, and reveal, quite well, how often times God uses what we view as undesirable or unthinkable situations to protect us and help us flourish in serving Him.
- Paul's being in custody served to protect him from the Jews who clearly wanted him dead.
- Paul's imprisonment opened the door for him to talk openly and boldly about his conversion experience with many Roman officials and guards.
- Paul's public trials provided a forum where the Jews who opposed Paul had to be respectful and allow Paul to speak, and in so doing, hear every detail of his encounter with Jesus—multiple times.
- Paul was able to write the letters, which are part of the New Testament, that we learn and draw instruction from today.
While I'm fairly certain Paul wouldn't have chosen to be arrested and spend his final years in prison, once God places him in that situation he embraces it. Rather than complaining or questioning God (something I'm prone to do), he instead looks for how he can make the most of every situation he encounters and then presses forward full force for God. Paul is truly an example of the phrase "thriving where you are planted."
What's your current situation, and would you say you're thriving for God in it? If not, what's hindering that and what needs to change for you to get to this point? If you are thriving, would you share one thing that has helped you acquire a mindset of, and then live out, thriving for God? Tami
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