Do you, like me, struggle with how to tell others about God? Acts chapter 19 made me think differently about it.
And [Paul] entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.
For one thing, the gospel is reasonable. It’s not like believing in a flying spaghetti monster. Don’t let people convince you that your belief is irrational or unscientific. It’s not. And the other thing, and what especially struck me in this verse, was that Paul spent three months with one group of people. When I think of evangelizing, I often think of striking up a conversation with a stranger and having ten minutes to summarize thousands of years of history and/or tell my boring testimonial. Yes, there are times for those things, but even Paul spent months reasoning, and even then he didn’t persuade everyone.
When Paul left Ephesus, he went to Tyrannus, where verses 10 and 11 say he “reasoned daily” for two years, so that all of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. Verse 20 says, “So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.”
Telling others about the kingdom is both easier and harder than I’d thought. Less pressure in the ten minute conversation, but requiring persistence. It’s a long term venture. God, give us persistence to reason, in love, and persuade others about Your kingdom.
What will your kingdom statement be today? Use it to replace those worry thoughts!
*New American Standard Bible verses used in the book version of this devotional with permission from The Lockman Foundation.