28 Weeks Acts Devotion Week 12
WEEK 12 - ACTS 12 - October 29, 2018
Written by Rev. Dr. Bob Long, senior pastor, St. Luke's UMC, OKC; General Conference Delegate; board of directors, Wespath (formerly General Board of Pension and Health Benefits)
Are You A Traveler or a Tourist? Do you know the difference between being a traveler and a tourist? A tourist likes to go on a journey but wants to stay comfortable and safe. A traveler, however, embraces the unfamiliar to experience something new.
A tourist might go to Italy and get mad when they can’t get their chicken fried steak and creamy gravy with mashed potatoes! They may become irritated if there isn’t someone to speak their language. The traveler is anxious to try new foods, learn new things, meet new people and have new experiences. A tourist is focused on “self” and wants everyone to conform to their needs. A traveler is focused on “others” and is willing to step outside of their own personal comfort zone to discover different things, learn other ideas, and forge new relationships.
When the disciples decided to go with Christ, they would see things they had never imagined, their beliefs would be challenged and they would start to view the world in a different way. Jesus calls each of us to travel alongside Him and being a traveler doesn’t always require you to leave home. One simple way we can do this is to look for ways to be a blessing to complete strangers. We don’t always notice people when we don’t know them, but when we take the time to see others, our eyes are opened to incredible opportunities to make a difference.
One of the great temptations we have is to keep our world a nice, safe, comfortable place and yet when you follow Christ, He often calls us out of this to broaden our views. I’ve made it a habit in my life to frequently ask myself the question, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” When we act like a tourist, we don’t want to do anything for the first time, we are content being comfortable where we are. Travelers seek situations that are different and unfamiliar knowing they will broaden our minds and reveal a message from God in our lives.
Acts 12 ends with God’s word traveling and gaining adherents. By Acts 28, we have this wonderful example of Paul being a traveler on his journey when he survives a terrible storm at sea, thanks to the unusual kindness shown to him by the natives of Malta. The ripple effect this kindness allowed Paul to travel back to Rome where he would finally stop his missionary travels and begin writing letters that would be a major contribution to the New Testament!
You and I get the chance each day to decide whether we will be tourists or travelers with Christ on the road of life. When we follow Jesus, we have to be willing to embrace that which is unfamiliar to experience something new!
Suggested reading schedule
• Monday - Acts 12
• Tuesday - Acts 12:1-5
• Wednesday - Acts 12:6-10
• Thursday - Acts 12:11-17
• Friday - Acts 12:18-23
• Saturday - Acts 12:24-25
• Sunday - Acts 12
Reflection question: Are you a traveler or a tourist through life? In what ways are you praying fervently for God’s words to spread and for you to be a blessing to others?
Prayer focus: Oklahoma Conference Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries (http://www.cjamm.org/)
If you wish to contact the delegation via email the address is firstname.lastname@example.org