Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK THREE
Hello and welcome to another Orbit – the daily devotional from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. Each day we give you a short passage of the Bible to reflect on, a way of putting it into practice in your life, and a chance to pray and reflect.
BIBLE READING – Acts 19: 8-10
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
Anything that’s worth doing, tends to take time. You can’t learn a musical instrument in five minutes, or master a sport, or learn a programming language. Sometimes a real investment of time is needed. It’s the same with friendships: you can’t form deep, perhaps even lifelong connections with other people if you don’t invest time in them. And of course, that’s how a relationship with God works – we don’t develop a great connection with the Almighty by only investing a few moments every now and then.
Often, it’s also how evangelism works. Evangelism – though it sometimes feels like a slightly toxic word – is a core part of following Jesus. Just before he leaves Earth, his most important final instruction to his followers is to “go and make disciples of all nations” – and that’s what we see Paul doing all through the New Testament. But Jesus doesn’t tell us to run up to people, shout in their face that they should “repent and believe”, and then run away. He tells us to make disciples – or in other words, form proper relationships where people understand from us what it really means to follow Jesus.
‘Making disciples’ is the language of relationship, and relationship takes time. So that’s what we see Paul doing in today’s passage – taking time. He’s recognising that hit-and-run evangelism isn’t enough. He spends three months in one place, “arguing persuasively”, and then he spends two whole years in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. He invests time, because he realises that making disciples needs that time.
We can sometimes feel discouraged when our friends, or other people with whom we share our faith, don’t immediately fall to their knees like Paul on that Damascus road. But we should take encouragement from the story of the greatest evangelist of all time, who often didn’t see instant effects either. Instead he went on a long journey with people – and over time he saw many lives change. Anything that’s worth doing, tends to take time. Not everyone will choose in the end to follow Jesus, but over the long-term, some will – and that will be worth all the time in the world.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
God, I pray that you would give me the gifts of patience and perseverance – in all things – but especially when it comes to talking to my friends and family about you. Give me courage to speak when the time is right, and the wisdom to stay quiet when it isn’t. I pray that your Holy Spirit would be working in my friends when they hear about you, and that in the weeks and months to come, that they’ll decide they want to explore a relationship with you too. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
Actually this one is about more than just one day. Take a small piece of paper – or something else physical; not an easily-lost note on your phone – and write down the names of three friends or family members who don’t know Jesus. Pray for them today – that they might have an opportunity to hear about him through you or someone else – but then also commit to keeping on praying for them. Put that note somewhere where you’ll see it each day – maybe pinned to your wall or the corner of your bedroom mirror – and keep praying for them; short prayers, every day.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email email@example.com, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!