By Mike Chaffin
Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him. Acts 28:30-31
The last words in Acts are intriguing. It took six chapters to detail all the things Paul went through once imprisoned in Jerusalem. Eventually, Paul was sent to Rome as a prisoner in chains. Hardships on the trip were met head on with prayer, faith, and action. But when he arrived in Rome, he was allowed to rent a home. He was under house arrest with Roman guards living with him.
A lot of people would look at Paul’s false persecution by the Jews to be a reason to quit, go into hiding, or feel sorry for themselves. They would wonder where God was when he nearly drowned in the sea and was bitten by a poisonous snake. Not Paul. He saw it as God’s will. When warned not to go to Jerusalem lest he be attacked, killed, or imprisoned, he knew he had God’s protection.
It took a long time to get to Rome. The Roman soldiers learned about Paul, his faith in God, and they learned what God can do. Through this interaction many in the Roman guard became Christian and soon it spread to Caesar’s household.
In addition, Paul wrote Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon during this time in Rome. In these he delivers foundational messages on joy, marriage, faith, righteous living, and forgiveness.
What we see in these last words of Acts is God is in control. Even when it looks like we are defeated and downtrodden we don’t have to act like a victim. Paul looked at it as an opportunity. Our happiness doesn’t lie in our circumstances, it comes from Jesus and service to Him.
Prayer: Lord thank you for these awesome last words that encourage us to spread the gospel in all circumstances. Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ and his faithfulness in spreading the gospel in chains did not go unrewarded. His letters continue to bring people to Christ. Thank you. In Jesus name, amen.