Weekly Tip #8
Different Circumstances, Same Message
In the last part of the book of Acts, we see in chapters 21-28 that Paul had some significant challenges as he worked to tell many about Jesus. Paul was making his final trip to Jerusalem and then on to Rome to stand trial. In AD 57 Paul is in Jerusalem, is arrested in the temple, a plot to kill him comes to light so he is transferred to Caesarea by armed guards for fear of his life. He is in prison there for two years. In AD 59 Paul goes to Rome as he appeals to Caesar but has great difficulty getting there as he experiences shipwreck and crashes near Malta.
In AD 60 Paul arrives in Rome where he continues under house arrest until AD 62. Then he travels to Spain and then back to Corinth, Colosse, Ephesus, where he is finally executed by Nero in AD 68. Paul had a difficult path to travel as he experiences some of the most difficult trials of his life. Check out 2 Corinthians 11:22-28 –
“22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.”
I want to point to one verse in Acts that summarizes Paul’s message everywhere he went. Acts 24:24 says:
“After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.”
In all of Paul’s trials, his message remained the same – it’s about placing one’s faith in Christ Jesus. Paul’s life mission, as commissioned by Jesus Himself, was to tell everyone how he or she can be right with God through faith if they place their trust in Christ. The message was simple and life changing. As we see Paul’s life through the book of Acts, he experienced different circumstances but always had the same message.
Different Tools, Same Message
There are many tools at your disposal to help you make Jesus an issue on your campus. Even right now on the History Channel on TV, there is a mini-series called “The Bible” that was viewed by 13.1 million people in the U.S. in the first week. Check it out at http://www.history.com/shows/the-bible I have seen the first two episodes and they are very good but more importantly it makes God and the Bible a topic of conversation everywhere. This can easily open the door for spiritual conversations where you could get a chance to tell people that the fulfillment of the Old Testament is found in the person of Jesus Christ.
Always look for ways to make Christ an issue in your ministry situation. Easter is just about two weeks away. How can you share the message of Christ with as many people as possible? Check out http://crupressgreen.com/ for lots of tools, training, and articles on sharing the gospel message with others. The message is always the same.
Talk to you next week,
Cru Ministry, Orlando