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
Anywhere, Anytime, Anybody
by Shea Clanton
Have you ever physically been in a place where you didn’t want to be? Have you ever questioned why God placed you in a certain place at a certain time? I have. Several years before I moved to Nashville, I found myself wanting to move away from Tallahassee. I didn’t care where I went; I just wanted to move somewhere. As I prayed about where God might have me go, He made it clear to me that He didn’t want me to go anywhere. He insisted that He had a purpose for me there in Tallahassee, and unfortunately, I was trying to run away from it.
I wonder if Paul ever found himself in a place he didn’t want to be, and if so, if he ever questioned why God had him there. At the end of the book of Acts, we find him under house arrest. After traveling on three missionary journeys, ministering in many cities, and witnessing to many people, Paul was now stuck in his own rented house. I don’t know how Paul felt, but if I were him, I probably wouldn’t want to be in that house, and I would probably question God’s purpose for having me there. However, the Bible doesn’t say Paul questioned God. Rather, it says, “He welcomed all who visited him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” Paul knew his purpose, and he followed through with it, even if he was in a less than desirable place.
Let’s zero in on the phrase “without hindrance.” This doesn’t mean that Paul didn’t encounter trouble. (Don’t forget, he’s under house arrest!) It means he shared the gospel freely and didn’t let anyone stop him. I can’t help but ask myself, “Do I live like that—sharing the gospel without hindrance, no matter where I find myself?”
How exciting that Luke ends the book of Acts with this passage! It’s an open-ended invitation for us to join the work that was begun by Paul and others in the early church. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the gospel is spreading, unhindered, and we are invited to participate! I pray that wherever I am, I will be found faithfully “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance,” and I pray you will be encouraged to do the same.
- God used Paul to proclaim the gospel even when he was under house arrest. In the Bible, there are many additional stories of God using people who are in unlikely places. I immediately think of Joseph in Genesis (particularly chapters 39-47) and Esther. Read some of these stories and be encouraged that the Lord will also use you in your unlikely place.
- Reflect on a time when you were in a physical location (such as a city or a workplace) where you didn’t want to be. Can you identify how God used you to proclaim the kingdom of God in that place at that time?
- At Brentwood Baptist, our mission is “engaging the whole person with the whole gospel of Jesus Christ anywhere, anytime, with anybody.” Pray that God will show you how to share the gospel unhindered in the place where you are right now. Thank Him in advance for equipping you and giving you boldness like Paul.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.