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29th October: A Gleam of Light

The Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, `Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man shall attack you to harm you; for I have many people in this city'. Acts 18:9-10

Paul was facing opposition yet again in his mission to spread the gospel in the heathen, worldy city of Corinth. Despite the presence of Silas and Timothy, Priscilla and Aquila, he must have felt lonely and threatened and, finding the Jews unreceptive and hostile must have wondered it is was all worthwhile.

Moving from job to job every six months, it is easy for us to get a martyr complex and keep a low Christian profile because we feel lonely, threatened and disheartened. It has certainly been my experience that every time I have timidly put my head above the barricade and witnessed for my Lord, as well as getting `sniped at', as Paul regularly was in Corinth, I have also made the acquaintance of other Christians. We are all so busy that we rarely chat about anything except our work and the most trivial superficialities. So we may not get to know other Christians until we are about to move on. Perhaps God means to form a fellowship of witnessing Christians in the palace where we work. Paul was encouraged to go on, not only with his secular work (v3), but with his missionary ministry, taking every opportunity of witness that God gave him rather than shrinking into anonymity.

Let us then be bold for God, remembering that Jesus promised, `everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven' (Mt 10:32), following this with a blunt warning that the converse is also true (v33). As we nail our colours to the mast, unknown fellow Christians at work may be encouraged to declare themselves, and non-Christians be attracted to Christ.

I'm not ashamed to own my Lord
Or to defend his cause;
Maintain the honour of his word,
The glory of his cross
Jesus, my Lord, I know his name;
His name is all my trust;
Nor will he put my soul to shame,
Nor let my hope be lost

Isaac Watts

Further reading: Phil 1:12-21. 1 Cor 15:58.

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