Ever-Expanding Ministry

For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you. But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you…(Romans 15:22-24).

I’m so inspired by Paul and his visionary posture towards the ministry of the Gospel. Think about what we just read in our theme verse: He was explaining to the church in Rome the reason he hadn’t come to see them. He said, “ I’ve been busy evangelizing other areas, but now I’m through; I don’t have any more places remaining where I haven’t preached Christ. So, now I can come to you on my way to Spain .”

When you study the life of Paul, and the other apostles of the Lord in the Book of Acts, you find an ever-expanding ministry. In Acts chapter 2, the previously frightened disciples suddenly became bold after they received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Peter preached his first message and three thousand souls were saved: “ Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls ” (Acts 2:41).

In the 3rd chapter , into the beginning of the 4th chapter , we read how Peter healed a paralyzed man who begged for alms at the gate of the temple called Beautiful. As a result, the people ran together and crowded around them. There, Peter used the opportunity to preach, and this time, five thousand souls were saved: “ Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand ” (Acts 4:4).

In Acts 4:31 , we read that after the apostles had prayed and were all filled with the Holy Ghost, “…they spake the word of God with boldness.” Again, the result was that a multitude of people believe (Acts 4:32). The apostles were preaching the Gospel and working miracles. Acts 5:12 tells us, “ And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch .” Then it says in the 14th verse , “ And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women). ”

Observe the progression. The first time, three thousand souls believed at once. The next time, the number of those who believed was about five thousand (women and the children not counted). Then, a multitude! It didn’t end there, in Acts 5:14, Luke calls those who had believed “multitudes!” That’s
ever-expanding ministry.

PRAYER
Dear Father, I thank you for the ever-expanding Church in spite of the futile efforts of wicked and unreasonable men. I pray for the Church around the world today, that there’s unity, stability and growth, as we attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

FURTHER STUDY

Acts 2:41-47 AMPC
41 Therefore those who accepted and welcomed his message were baptized, and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.

42 And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread [including the Lord’s Supper] and prayers.

43 And a sense of awe (reverential fear) came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were performed through the apostles (the special messengers).

44 And all who believed (who adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus Christ) were united and [together] they had everything in common;

45 And they sold their possessions (both their landed property and their movable goods) and distributed the price among all, according as any had need.

46 And day after day they regularly assembled in the temple with united purpose, and in their homes they broke bread [including the Lord’s Supper]. They partook of their food with gladness and simplicity and generous hearts,

47 Constantly praising God and being in favor and goodwill with all the people; and the Lord kept adding [to their number] daily those who were being saved [from spiritual death].

Romans 15:18-24 NIV
18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done –
19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way round to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.
21 Rather, as it is written:

‘Those who were not told about him will see,
and those who have not heard will understand.’

22 This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.

23 But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you,
24 I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and that you will assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.

DAILY SCRIPTURE READING:
1-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Luke 20:20-21:1-4 & 1 Samuel 20-22

2-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Romans 15:10-19 & Psalm 129-130

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