Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Called to Preach
When Jesus sent out his disciples, they heard from his own mouth where he wanted them to go and what he wanted them to say. After Jesus ascended into heaven, he sent special gifts from the Spirit to tell those disciples where he wanted them to go and what he wanted them to say.
In today’s reading from the book of Acts, Jesus made it clear where he wanted Paul and his companions to go. But they already knew what to say. God had called them to preach the gospel to people.
The gospel is the good news that Jesus lived a perfect life in our place and then died to take the punishment for our sins. The gospel is the good news that we have forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus. God called Paul to preach the gospel.
And God still calls people to preach that gospel today. He does not use visions from the Spirit. Instead, God calls people through the Church, through people who have come to believe in Jesus through the gospel.
And there are still people asking preachers to teachers to “come over and help us.” All around the world, from Tennessee to Tibet, people are asking to be reassured of their forgiveness through faith in Jesus. How good it is to know God still answers those prayers by sending his representatives to proclaim the good news of sins forgiven!
Lord Jesus, send your messengers wherever the good news needs to be proclaimed. Amen.