Daily Devotional: Impact

Genesis 50:20

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

We truly don’t know the long-term impact of the things that happen today. Every choice we make, every interaction we have, every conversation that takes place can have ripple effects that we couldn’t ever imagine. Even the things that seem negative or destructive can be redeemed and have good come from them.

Emperor Claudius became the emperor of Rome on January 25th, A.D. 42. Though he started out treating Jews in a favorable way, he eventually changed his policies and had the Jews expelled from Rome. For Jews who were simply visiting Rome this was an inconvenience, but for those who had lived there their whole lives and had homes, families, and businesses, this meant their entire lives were uprooted.

Acts 18:2 tells us that two of those uprooted Jews was a couple named Aquila and Priscilla. They had likely become Christians while in Rome and had now traveled to Corinth to begin their new lives. This is when the Apostle Paul enters on the scene. Like Paul, Aquila and Priscilla were tentmakers, so Paul went and worked and stayed with them. For nearly two years Paul was with Aquila and Priscila, surely making them some of the most well taught of any of the early Christians. Their bond had grown so strong that when Paul decided to leave Corinth, they traveled with him (Acts 18:18). They went as far as Ephesus where another church was planted. There they resumed their tent making business and became leaders in the Ephesian church.

While in Ephesus, another Jew named Apollos arrived from Alexandria, Egypt. Apollos was an eloquent speaker and he began teaching about Jesus in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard Apollos speaking, they took him aside and explained to him more of the Gospel (Acts 18:26). This allowed Apollos to become an even stronger preacher. He went on to publicly argue with other Jews and prove through his rhetoric that Jesus was in fact the Messiah.

This means that one of the greatest preachers in the New Testament church was directly affected by a pagan emperor expelling Jews from Rome. What Emperor Claudius meant for evil, God used for good. We cannot know the outcome of certain events in our lives, both those that are good and not good. We can only trust in God and continue to follow Him. If God can bring good from the life of an unbelieving Roman emperor, think of what He can bring from your life! If we allow God to work in and through us our lives can have ripple effects that reach into eternity.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.