28:28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen.” 29 [When he had spoken these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves.]
30 And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.
I have to chuckle at how Acts ends. When you read the letters Paul wrote throughout his ministry to the various churches he started there is a repeated desire to go to Rome. In his heart that's where he wants to go but Paul lived for Jesus. He went where God sent him. If it was Macedonia so be it. Philippi? No problem. In the end God sent him to Jerusalem. He and everyone else assumed he would be killed there and his work would be finished. At first that's exactly what seemed to be his fate. The execution was pre-empted when he was handed over to the Romans who refused to kill him since there was no just cause but also refused to release him for political reasons. For over two years he was held in Caesarea where he was given the opportunity to share the good news with kings and queens and a wide array of government officials and the "who is who" of the upper class. Finally with a change of governors but no change in their political fence sitting Paul requested to plead his case before Caesar.
In the end we are never told what happened on that account. What we do know is that Paul was able to reach a class he never could have gained access to on his own. He demonstrated God's power to the secluded island people of Malta, and finally in Rome he preached freely for at least two years.
Not only did Paul accomplish greater things after his "death" in Jerusalem but he did it all at the expense of the Empire. Rome paid for his food and lodging while Paul preached Jesus to whoever wanted to listen.
That desire that Paul had in his heart was realized in a way he could never have dreamed. It was all made possible by his faithful determination to go wherever God sent him.
My dad shared a true story with me yesterday of a student in university who was determined to honour God’s holy Sabbath no matter what. One professor was determined to either break her faithfulness to God or fail her. For the final exam he assigned a take home research paper. It was to be handed in on Monday. He told them it would take the entire weekend. Her classmates urged her not to waste a whole day or she would fail.
Unfazed she kept the Sabbath trusting God be with her. When the sun set on Saturday evening she headed to the library. Classmates who had worked all day were nowhere near finished. They told her it was too late to start. She had no chance of finishing.
With a prayer for help and tears in her eyes she began to look for the needed books to complete the exam. As she began looking a book fell from the shelf and landed open on the floor. Picking it up she realized it was open to exactly the information she needed. Then another book fell and another. Each lay open to exactly the information she needed. A librarian heard the commotion and came to investigate. No one could explain it. Come Monday morning only one student completed the exam. You can guess who...
Who but God?
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be added to you. Trust God with all your heart and don't rely on your own wisdom. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.
Who but God indeed. If you want to see His faithfulness dare to follow Him, especially when it makes no sense.