Week 7, Day 5
February 18, 2022
Scriptures: Acts 19
Slow and Steady wins the race.
When we read the book of Acts, it is easy to think that Christianity came about quickly. In a way it does. In the matter of 25 years, it’s incredible to think about how many people came to believe in Jesus Christ and enter into the Way. But consider this a little more closely:
“Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.” (Acts 19:8–10)
Paul taught about the Kingdom of God slowly and with great intentionality. He wasn’t quick to avoid problems. He tried desperately for the Jews at the synagogue in Tyrannus to learn about the Kingdom of God and Jesus, but after several months of obstinance he had to leave. Desiring for the church there to grow and spread, he went to a lecture hall to share with both Jews and Gentiles who were curious about his message. Paul spent two years there teaching in the lecture hall, so that people would hear the word of the Lord.
This is just one of the many instances in Acts where Paul went first to the synagogue, only to leave for a more receptive audience.
It can be a bit disconcerting when we face challenges, or the church doesn’t grow like we hope it would. The Kingdom spreads and grows, quickly, but also slowly. I know that’s a bit of an oxymoron. It’s incredible to see the spread of the Gospel when you look at the big picture of a span of 20 some years. In that way, the Gospel spreads quickly. But imagine the difficulty of three months of arguing in a synagogue really wore on Paul’s patience. Those days probably dragged a bit, don’t you think?
Let’s be reminded today that in the difficult days of life, ministry, sharing the hope of Jesus, there might be some frustrating days. But keep the faith. Persevere. Run the race marked out for us. The Gospel will continue to spread. Lives will continue to be changed. The Kingdom will come. Some days might be difficult to keep going in our faith. But when we look at our life, may we see a long obedience in the same direction.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.