Devotional Thought : Acts 23:11
“As you have testified about me in Jerusalem so you must also testify in Rome.” Acts 23:11
God doesn’t bother to mention to Paul, that he will actually be imprisoned when he first testifies in Rome! Or that there will be a two-year delay or a shipwreck where he nearly dies three times (27:20,42; 28:6). When Paul eventually does arrive in Rome he’s under house arrest for another two years. God will stop at nothing to give everyone the opportunity to hear the gospel. God’s heart’s desire is that everyone will have the opportunity to respond to the gospel, that everyone will have the chance to repent. As Peter writes: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Many have suffered much hardship and loss in order to bring the gospel message to those who haven’t heard. Many have suffered for translating the gospel message into a language that others could understand. Then there are thousands who have silently made huge sacrifices to teach, support and encourage the believers who became the missionaries, translators and trailblazers. Sacrifices that perhaps only God knows. It makes us realize God’s commitment to his mission is huge.
God has the advantage of seeing the end result of all our missionary endeavours. He knows it is worth the pain and struggle that his people endure in this present life because “the wedding banquet” is coming and God wants it full of people who have heard and responded to his invitation (Matthew 22:1-10). So even if God’s people end up in unpleasant and uncomfortable situations, the invitation must be sent out to the ends of the earth.