[In Ephesus, next] Paul went to the synagogue and preached boldly for the next three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God. But some became stubborn, rejecting his message and publicly speaking against the Way. So Paul left the synagogue and took the believers with him. Then he held daily discussions at the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia — both Jews and Greeks — heard the word of the Lord.
— Acts 19:8-10 NLT
Some of my earliest Bible lessons on Acts involved studying the four missionary journeys of the apostle Paul. While I still believe these journeys are significant, Luke seems to emphasize an additional perspective. My dad introduced this idea to me when he taught me to skip smooth rocks across the surface a pond. Each place the rock skipped off the water left concentric circles of ripples spreading out from that skip point. On a large pond, a skipped rock would have four or five skip points. In thirty or forty seconds, the ripples would collide as they covered the whole pond. For Luke, the skip points from which grace spread were four major cities: Jerusalem, Antioch of Syria, Ephesus, and Rome. Jesus gave his disciples the skip-point principle in Act 1:8 — the message begins where we are, ripples out to those near, and ultimately reaches those who are far away. We have seen this spreading happen from Jerusalem and Antioch in our journey thus far through Acts. Now, we see it happening from Ephesus. The result of Paul's teaching there was "that people throughout the province of Asia — both Jews and Greeks — heard the word of the Lord." Are our congregation and our city of believers following the example of these skip points of grace?
O Father, forgive us for hoarding your grace to ourselves and not venturing out among other people and cultures to learn from them, love them, and share our faith in Jesus with them. Please use me, and use my group of believers, to be Jesus' skip points of grace to reach our world. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Acts 1:1-8, 13:1-3
- Acts 28:11-31
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Friday, September 15, 2023
About This Devotional
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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