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Chris (email link at the bottom of each page)

Determined to Witness

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Acts 14:19-28
 
Paul was mercilessly stoned and then dragged and dumped outside the city walls.  We need to remember that every time we encounter Paul, whether through his story retold in Acts or through his writings, we are encountering a man who suffered profoundly for his faith – even to paying the ultimate price.
 
But no amount of suffering would deter him from his mission of preaching the Good news: “when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city” (v.20).  Sometimes we get knocked down, sometimes we trip and fall; either way the gospel is all about getting up again.
 
Lord, we are your people, the sheep of your flock.  Heal the sheep who are wounded.  Touch the sheep who are in pain.  Clean the sheep who are soiled.  Warm the lambs who are cold.  Help us all to know the Father’s love.  Renew us so that we may help renew the face of the earth.
 
Chris
 
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St Paul in Antioch

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Acts 13:13–25
Preaching the gospel for the first time in Antioch
 
Paul was gifted in many ways, but one thing he excelled at was proclaiming the gospel.  He was a herald of the gospel message and here he is preaching his first recorded sermon on his first missionary journey.  It is a masterclass on how to witness and to proclaim the gospel.
 
At the heart of Paul’s work was the proclamation of God’s great work of salvation.  It was this message which compelled him to proclaim it from the rooftops, as it were.
 
When Paul was given the opportunity to preach by the synagogue leaders in Antioch, he seized it.  We too need to be alert to opportunities to preach and to proclaim the gospel, opportunities which arise more often that we might expect.
 
We need to be alert to such opportunities and the Holy Spirit will make us sensitive to them, chances to speak about our faith.  The Spirit will also guide us in what we say, keeping the tone light but sincere, but we should be ready for the chance to talk about Jesus, his life and his place in our lives.
 
Believe that the Spirit has prepared the hearts of those to whom you get the chance to speak and you will see minds opening to your message.  The Holy Spirit is the primary agent of all our efforts at evangelisation – this was true in the early Church and is still true today.
 
Lord Jesus, I pray for the grace and wisdom to share my faith with joy, enthusiasm and clarity, and to be an attractive and appealing witness of Christian faith.
 
Chris
 
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