Read: Acts 19:8-12; 23-41
And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul. (v. 11)
One of the overriding themes that we see regarding Paul in the book of Acts is the fierce determination and courage he displays in the face of opposition. Everyone, it seemed, was against him: the Jews opposed him; the Greeks opposed him; the merchants opposed him; and still he carried on. Still he proclaimed Jesus as Savior and Lord to whoever would listen. And people listened!
Often when we face opposition from people who oppose the gospel, we back down. We retreat to our Christian huddle and have a pity party. However, this should never be our response. We don’t need to be obnoxious to people who may not be ready for the gospel, but the one thing we can always do is pray for them.
And the other thing we can do is continue to make ourselves available to the Lord for ministry. This is what Paul does. Luke has an interesting way to describe this in verse 11: “And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul.” God was doing it—but he was using the hands of Paul.
Famously, John Calvin’s motto was, “My heart, as if aflame, I offer to you, O Lord.” The heart must come first, but Paul, with his undaunted commitment to the gospel, also offered his hands for God’s use. Just as in Paul’s day, God is looking for willing and ready hands to do extraordinary work. —John Koedyker
As you pray, offer your hands to do God’s work.
About the Author
Rev. John Koedyker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in America for more than forty years. His ministry began in Japan where he served as a missionary for ten years. After that he has served churches in Iowa and Michigan. He has served as the Stated Clerk of Muskegon Classis, RCA, for the past sixteen years and also presently serves as pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan. John has written a number of times previously for Words of Hope and he has a bi-monthly religion column in the Grand Haven Tribune. He is married to Marilyn, and they have four grown children and seven grandchildren.