July 28, 2020

Acts 2020

Acts 28:11–31

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Paul Arrives at Rome

11 After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods1 as a figurehead. 12 Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13 And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14 There we found brothers2 and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15 And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. 16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.

Paul in Rome

17 After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19 But because the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—though I had no charge to bring against my nation. 20 For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.” 21 And they said to him, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. 22 But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.”

23 When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. 25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:

26   “‘Go to this people, and say,
  “You will indeed hear but never understand,
    and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
27   For this people’s heart has grown dull,
    and with their ears they can barely hear,
    and their eyes they have closed;
  lest they should see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears
  and understand with their heart
    and turn, and I would heal them.’

28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”3

30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense,4 and welcomed all who came to him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.

Footnotes

[1] 28:11 That is, the Greek gods Castor and Pollux
[2] 28:14 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 15, 21
[3] 28:28 Some manuscripts add verse 29: And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, having much dispute among themselves
[4] 28:30 Or in his own hired dwelling

Acts 2020



Key Verse | Acts 28:30-31

He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.

Bio | Brad Clark

It's an honor to be journeying through God's Word with you. I often tell people that if you ever want to know what I'm up to, I'm probably . . . 

• Hanging out in Frisco or traveling with Brooke, my sweet bride of 16 years, and the five awesome kiddos that God has blessed us with; 

• Running our family business; or 

• Planting a church—shout out to all my friends at Watermark Frisco! 

But the one thing that I pray would mark my life is this: I want to be the guy who's always talking to others about Jesus.

Central Truth

Followers of Jesus should live on mission with "all boldness and without hindrance."

Devotional | Acts 28:11–31

Do you struggle with having faith in Jesus, growing in your faith, or sharing your faith with others? Well, Paul continues to model for us (1 Corinthians 11:1) how true followers of Jesus keep trusting in Jesus,...

Do you struggle with having faith in Jesus, growing in your faith, or sharing your faith with others? Well, Paul continues to model for us (1 Corinthians 11:1) how true followers of Jesus keep trusting in Jesus, growing in their faith, and having a relentless pursuit of the mission. Paul was a man whose life was forever changed because he met Jesus (Acts 9:1-22), and he never stopped living on mission for Him. For Paul, it didn't matter if God led him to a new and unfamiliar place or if people rejected him and the message of the gospel. Paul stayed focused on the mission of telling others about Jesus no matter how difficult it got. 

Do you welcome difficult situations, or do you spend your efforts trying to avoid difficulty and achieve comfort? In 2018, the Lord blessed us with our fifth child through the gift of adoption. Then, He stirred our hearts to sell our "forever home," move to a new city, put our kids in a new school, and help start a new church campus. It's been difficult, and we definitely have not been perfect, but God has drawn us closer to Him throughout all of this change and has helped us stay focused on the mission of sharing the gospel with others.

It's 2020, and if you are truly a follower of Jesus, then the "Acts" of God working in and through His people should be evident and alive in you today. Just look at the last verse of the book of Acts: "[Paul was] proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance." (Acts 28:31)  This was the mark of Paul's life. He was the guy who was ALWAYS talking about Jesus. Just like Paul stayed committed to being the Church wherever he was, we should BE the Church today, right where God has us. With hearts that completely trust and depend on Him for everything, our lives should be poured out for the sake of the gospel with all boldness and without hindrance.

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Discussion Questions

1. Have you come to know the goodness of God through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus, who paid the penalty for your sins so you could be saved? If not, pray right now and ask God to help you understand this truth and experience the salvation that He offers to all people (John 3:16; Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-10; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9).

2. If you answered yes to Question 1, are you boldly living your life on mission, as defined by the example that the apostle Paul lived in Acts 28?

3. What is a hindrance to you living your life on mission? Pray today that God would help rid your heart of whatever it is that is keeping you from fully trusting in Him (Psalm 139:23-24).

4. Whom do you need to share your faith with today?

6 Comments available

Linda Green 17 days ago

Thanks, Brad, for reminding us we have the privilege and freedom to talk about Jesus, and that we have a real Forever Home that has been purchased for us by Jesus!

Have been bothered by God hardening hearts, until someone pointed out that their heart was already hard towards God- He then made it even harder, but so that others would benefit. Know that our perfect God is without sin, and when we are enjoying our Forever Home we will understand His good and loving plans.

Greg Jones 17 days ago

Paul in Rome starts his case for his gospel this way: “I [have] no charge to bring against my nation.V19b

“It is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain“V20

Quoting Isaiah6:9-10 (Southern prophet) sounds like a charge against Jerusalem/Judea. V25 says it was Paul’s final statement, the one they begin to leave on.

Paul’s use of Isaiah is not a condemnation, that would be a religious/spiritual charge against, contradicting vv19-20

Disagreeing with Paul on this day would not mean not accepting God’s condemnation. Disagreement with Paul would be with:

“Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles”Acts28:28

This is how salvation has been sent to Gentiles is your disagreement. Paul doesn’t want Gentiles to unaware of this mystery Romans 11.

Michael Scaman 17 days ago

Here as Acts ends, Paul reminds the readers that God for His own reasons hardens hearts of some and reveals the gospel to others

Paul quotes Isaiah, and Isaiah 6:10,11 goes from Isaiah chapter 6, a hardness continuing even to today, and even until someone by grace turns to Christ and the veils removed from their eyes. as it asks in Is 53:1, who has the arm of the Lord been revealed to (and then describes the arm of the Lord in what follows).

This should be no surprise to Paul as Jesus told him he was being sent to open blind eyes, as he even stood blinded -impossible with man… not impossible with God

Ben Hewett 17 days ago

This has been a very encouraging journey through Acts and wish in some ways we could start over. Thanks to all the devotional leads for helping me get the most out of this beautiful story. Glory to our Lord for blessing us by preserving this story our own growth.

Sue Bohlin 17 days ago

Thanks, Brad.

I smiled at the reference to the twin Roman gods, Castor and Pollux, on Paul’s ship. It was a fresh reminder of how the grace of God has completely removed my grade-school confusion about Roman mythology being real. When you’re not grounded in God’s truth, it’s easy to be confused about the stories from other worldviews, whether it be gods and goddesses, or astrology, or the belief that all is one. I am SO thankful for clarity about what is real and true–as God defines it–and what isn’t!

And I loved Luke’s final reference to the Holy Spirit, since this entire book has truly been “The Acts of the Holy Spirit in the Early Church.” His fingerprints have been in every chapter. I think on Pentecost, the risen Jesus sat at the right hand of the Father and said to the Spirit, “OK, You’re up!”

Hugh Stephenson 17 days ago

I am reflecting on the Isaiah passage.

It’s interesting that God calls me to proclaim, to be His witness, (Acts 1:8), to “Therefore go…” (Matthew 28:19-20).

YET, all the while knowing so many will tragically have shut their ears, closed their eyes and turned their hearts to stone.

I link back to Pharoah’s hard heart; to the blind Pharisees in Luke 6:39 and to the fact that most of the people who heard Jesus preach turned and walked away. If they are not going to respond to Jesus, then I should not feel as though a negative response from a hearer of the Word makes me a poor witness.

Clearly, both Paul and Jesus were focused on obedience verses outcome.

As the parent of two unsaved prodigals this passage is particularly tragic. Yet, God’s call to me is even more clear.

I proclaim. He saves. (John 6:44, John 14:6).

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