Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3. explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” 4. And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.
The old saying goes, “A rolling stone gathers no moss”. Those words fit the Apostle Paul perfectly. Paul was a journeying man. He was always moving. Always listening. Always sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Always on mission. As you read through the book of Acts you encounter such phrases as “they went from” and “when they had passed through”. The missionary teams that Paul led were active and consumed with the mission of Christ. Geography, distance, hostility, lack of comfort, and weather could not keep Paul and his companions from sharing the message that Christ was the Messiah. For Paul, the gospel was not just an event (something he did), rather it was a lifestyle (something that he lived). Verse two makes it clear that Paul sought opportunities to speak of Jesus Christ. Notice, “as his custom was”. He knew his mission and his message “explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ”.
We live in a far more mobile and connected society than did Paul. Travel is easier. Where it would have taken weeks to cover a few hundred miles can today be done in one or two days. Where Paul carried limited scrolls of the biblical text, today we have completed Bibles in print, on our computer, and even on our phones. Where Paul would have sent letter to the churches by messenger, or carried them himself, taking weeks upon weeks for a return answer, today we can send texts and email around the world and get an answer within seconds. As mobile as we are and as connected as we are, are we using that to our advantage?
We know that is was Paul’s custom, or habit, or practice to speak for Christ wherever he found himself. Do we look for ways to share the gospel all the places we go? Do we utilize all the tools available to us? It is true as many say that the world is getting smaller. Now, we know that the earth is not shrinking. Technology and ease and convenience of travel are bringing the world together. As the world gets smaller, we find more and more people groups who have never heard the name of Jesus. It is not just overseas. There are pockets of North America that have been isolated and don’t know there is a Savior who loves them. As Paul traveled he was sensitive to people and their plight. As we travel we should “make it our custom” to be sensitive to the lostness around us.