2021.04.18 Daily Devotional
The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, April 18, 2021 comes to us from Rose McCormick Brandon of Ontario Canada
Acts 16:6-15 6 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. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 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. 11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days. 13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
1Thessalonians 5:23-24 (CEB) May the God of peace himself cause you to be completely dedicated to him … The one who is calling you is faithful and will do this.
“Let It Happen”
I was excited to attend a conference in California. While praying about the trip, I sensed God preparing me to share the gospel with a passenger on my flight.
My seatmate was a woman named Nadia who had been on a nine-month solo world tour. California was her last stop before she returned home to Australia. As we chatted over lunch, our conversation flowed naturally from one subject to another, and somehow the topic of faith arose. I didn’t push; she didn’t resist. It simply happened.
I talked about Jesus and how important he is to me. And like a rose unfolding its petals, Nadia opened her heart to him. We joined hands and prayed.
At the luggage carousel, the friends I was traveling with welcomed Nadia into God’s family. Nadia and I hugged, and I encouraged her to read the Bible and find a church back home.
It’s in my nature to fuss over how events might unfold. But that day I learned that I don’t have to push doors open; I can let God open them gently.
—Rose McCormick Brandon
Occasionally, God gives us the opportunity to share our faith with someone we encounter. Often these encounters and completely spontaneous and unexpected. Thus, it becomes important for us to be open to experiencing these meetings, so that we will be able to offer our experiences with God in ways that bring faith and peace to others.