Plans for the future were a bit tentative. I intend to pass through Macedonia, and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter … I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. Paul’s words to the Corinthians were not exactly brimming with Apostolic certainty.
Then it happened. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. Why the sudden change? What happened to the heavily-nuanced language? How did timidity give way to temerity?
Paul had discerned an opportunity – a wide door for effective work – in Ephesus. He was now devotion-bound to stay there and exploit it fully for the sake of the gospel. How did Paul know there was an opportunity? There was an opening and there was opposition. That’s all it took.
This month I will tell you thirty or so stories about people seeking to pass through open doors despite opposition. You will read of new (and continuing) initiatives. You will hear reports of conversions and baptisms. You will be challenged by the faithful perseverance of God’s servants ministering in difficult circumstances.
Do I have an agenda? Absolutely. I want to encourage you to pray. Boldly. Confidently. Faithfully. I also want to challenge you to give. Generously. Liberally. Sacrificially.
Plus – I hope the Lord will use the articles to open your eyes to wide doors for effective work where you are so that you might be emboldened to stay in Ephesus.
Warmly in Christ