“With complete assurance and without hindrance he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 28:31)
Imagine being the soldier guarding Paul during his house arrest in Rome! He would have seen this great apostle and evangelist toward the end of his life. He has been tested by trials and proved faithful through all his journeys. Now Paul could take advantage of two years of relative peace to wrap up his affairs. He wrote many letters to the churches he had founded and tried to reconcile with his adversaries. And over all, he never stopped proclaiming Jesus to any who would listen.
This house arrest at the end of Acts is thought to immediately precede Paul’s execution. Even then, at the end of his life, Paul did not stop preaching. Even then, God called him to proclaim the gospel, teach, and intercede for the fledgling church. Especially then, nearing the end of his life, Paul was so vitally important to God.
Some of us may be in a similar situation—slowed down by age, health concerns, or other constraints. But no matter what limitations we may face, we will never lack an opportunity to be of service to God. He will never tell us he doesn’t need us anymore! Like Paul, we can continue to share the gospel. We can spend time in intercessory prayer, both for our personal and family needs and for the broader and far-reaching needs of the world. We can write to our loved ones, encouraging them in their relationship with God.
Don’t ever think that you are useless to the Lord! Don’t feel inadequate! Jesus will take whatever you can do, big or small, and infuse it with his grace and his transforming power. Your experience, faithfulness, and even suffering are of great value to the kingdom of God! You can be a dramatic influence on your friends, family, or neighbors by your faith-filled presence, no matter where you are!
“Lord, thank you that you treasure me, that you actually need me! Help me to slow down enough so that I can listen to what you want me to do right here and right now!” Help me to win the race, so that I can receive the prize.”