This week, we wrap up the Book of Acts and study the culmination of Paul’s journey to Rome. The shipwreck along the way garners most of the attention of these final chapters, and rightfully so, but I want us to turn our attention to the last two verses of the book.
30 Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house. And he welcomed all who visited him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. — Acts 28:30-31 (CSB)
We cannot make the mistake of thinking that Paul’s hardship ended after the shipwreck. It didn’t. Yes, Paul was saved from drowning, but he was saved from drowning so that he could continue on to Rome where he was a prisoner awaiting for his case to be heard—one that could result in his execution.
But just as God was good to Paul on a ship that was falling apart around him, He was also good to Paul in a home with walls that may have felt like they were enclosing on him. First, these walls were in a rented house, rather than a prison cell. So Pau was able to enjoy some level of comfort even as a prisoner. But second, and most important, Paul was able to advance the gospel even if he could not leave his house.
Does that last phrase surprise you? “Without hinderance?” We are tempted to read that and wonder, “Luke, when you wrote this, didn’t you understand that Paul was under house arrest? That sure sounds like a hindrance.” But what we miss there is that Luke was not thinking physically, but spiritually. Yes, Paul was hindered physically, but not spiritually. God was using Paul still exactly as He desired.
In what ways do we think we are hindered in our calling to serve Christ? Perhaps our kids will think that their age limits them. Perhaps we might think that our level of education hinders us. Or perhaps our resources. We need to remember though, that God has given us exactly what He wants to give us and what we need. Our age, education, resources, or anything else does not hinder us from doing what God has called and equipped us to do.
Paul’s walls did not limit his mission to share the gospel. Neither does our “walls,” whatever they might be.
If God be our God, he will do more for us than all the world besides can … He will give us peace in trouble: when a storm without, he will make music within. The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble.” — Thomas Watson (c. 1620-1686)Thomas Watson, “Of the Preface to the Ten Commandments,” in A Body of Practical Divinity (Glasgow: William Paton, 1794), 218.
Tips for Teaching this Week’s Session
Every week, members of The Gospel Project for Kids team offer guidance to help you as you prepare to teach every session to preschoolers and kids. Listen in as we discuss:
- The big idea of the session
- Any areas of caution or requiring additional prep time
- What we hope God will do through this session
This training is available on Ministry Grid, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.