August 3, 2018
DID PAUL GO TO SPAIN?
What we know from Scripture is that Paul did indeed visit Rome, carried there to appear before Caesar under Roman guard. According to the final verses in Acts (Acts 28:30-31), Paul was held under house arrest in Rome for two years awaiting trial, yet had great freedom to preach and teach about Jesus while there. But Scripture is silent on what happened next.
From the writings of early church fathers such as Clement, who wrote around 95 AD, Paul was apparently released after two years in Rome and was able to journey to Spain before being brought back to Rome and being beheaded by Nero around the year 67 AD. While there is little certainty about whether Paul was able to carry the gospel to Spain, the fact that Clement’s writings are only 30 years afterwards lends credence to the possibility.
I like to think that the Lord allowed Paul to take one more journey to a place where the gospel had not yet been heard before completing his earthly journey. At any rate, I am moved by the passion the Spirit had given Paul to obey the Great Commission and to make disciples of all nations.
August 1, 2018
CONFIDENT HOPE FILLED WITH JOY AND PEACE
This hope for which Paul prays is not the stuff of wishes and wants, but of sterner stuff, made sure by the Lord Himself. It is hope that rejoices as it looks forward with confidence to an eternal future with Christ. This hope is like a rope, anchored on one end by the truth of Christ’s resurrection and passing beyond the veil to be anchored in the promise of Christ’s sure return. Those who trust in Christ overflow with this confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Do you know this confident hope today?
August 1, 2016
Scripture contains two streams. One stream flows tortuous and muddy through a valley, filled with real stories of human sin, violence and judgment. Seeing its filthy flow, we are overwhelmed and often disgusted. We wonder why a loving God would allow for such. Why would this stream of stories even be in the Bible? The second stream falls down from the mountains cool and clean, it sparkles in the sun as it gushes down rocky heights with revelations of God’s righteousness, forgiveness and love. Observing this dangerous torrent and hearing its mighty roar, we are filled with a fearful longing. We have a deep desire to dive into its crystal clear depths, yet one inward glance at our fragile fallen selves reminds us that we would be destroyed beneath its crashing flow. Then, as we follow the two streams passing from the Old Testament to the New, we see them converge. The two streams of Scripture crash together at the cross of Christ. We finally understand. Seen through the lens of the cross it all makes sense. Our sin and God’s righteousness collide in Christ. He took our sin, separation and death, that we might have His righteousness, sonship and life. The two streams of Scripture were written for our “instruction,” both for our endurance and encouragement, that we might have hope in Christ.
August 2, 2015
In Paul’s closing remarks to the church in Rome, he shared his prayer that the Lord allow him to visit them. He prayed that he might come to them with joy so that both might be mutually refreshed. There is an encouragement that refreshes us when we fellowship with other believers in the joy of the Lord. We have had this prayer answered as we visited our brothers and sisters in London this past week. It had been our heart’s desire for some time to visit and know this mutual refreshment. And God finally made it possible. Do you know this fellowship that refreshes?
August 1, 2012
The apostle Paul described his church-planting strategy: Go where no one has yet heard. This strategy informs our approach at WCC. We want to be a church that grows by preaching the gospel in a clear and relevant way to a generation that is far from God. Do you know someone who has “never heard of Him?” Invite them to join you at WCC this Sunday!
August 1, 2011
Paul’s ambition should be ours. Do we have zeal to see the gospel preached to those who haven’t heard? Christ wants us to crucify our old ambitions and have them replaced with Christ’s. Christ came to seek and to save them which are lost. What’s your ambition?