The Thought for the Week this week is written by Eric Wylie

by Susie Jean Sharkey

Acts 28:30-31  "For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!"

The fact that Paul was able to welcome all who visited him suggests that they did not come in their thousands.

Could you imagine it? If the apostle Paul lived in our city, I am sure we would all be crowding around his house, wanting to hear his stories, or a word from God, or perhaps to receive healing from this man of God. Maybe the more mature in Christ would be there to serve and support him. But in Rome, it would appear that the crowds stayed away. Perhaps they didn't appreciate the opportunity that they had.

I wonder if we don't make full use of the opportunities that we have. There are wonderful men and women of God that live among us; Those that have perhaps found God more fully than we have. It is good to be among them in the church services but, are we missing opportunities to receive from them? I know that I can find quite difficult to open conversations with people, and that it holds me back more than it should but, remember that Paul towards the end felt isolated and forsaken. It's not just about receiving, sometimes even the greatest men and women of God could do with company and encouragement. I will be very upset if, by the end, I haven't been able to express the esteem, appreciation and affection that I have for them.

I remember how I loved to sit with Mr Black in the bookshop, and hear things that were never said from the pulpit: Sometimes great stories and personal experiences from his life, sometimes a word of advice or encouragement specifically for me. They were great moments but, the best moments were the times when he needed me to run an errand, or give him a lift. He blessed me deeply but, I got to bless him a little too.

There are those in our midst who would welcome all who come to see them.