Sunday, November 18, 2012

Acts 14-15

Daily Reading
Acts 14-15

Daily Thought

At the conclusion of chapter 14 of Acts, Paul and Barnabas arrive at the church in Antioch and "declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles" (Acts 14:27). But first read the chapter.

At Iconium, they spoke in the synagogue and many believed, both Jew and Gentile, "but the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers" (Acts 14:2). The city became divided by the gospel, and those against threatened to stone Paul and Barnabas, so they fled to Lystra, where they spoke of Jesus, but the crowds were superstitious and saw Zeus and Hermes in their miracles. The people began to call Barnabas Zeus and Paul Hermes and worship them, and though they protested, the gospel of Jesus was drowned out by the people's passion for their Greek gods. Then the Iconium Jews caught up with them and persuaded the crowd to stone Paul, and they dragged him out of the city and left him for dead, but he got right back up and went back into the city. They just kept going, traveling from Derbe to Pisidia to Pamphylia to Attalia, finally arriving in Antioch, where somehow they neglected to mention the rejection and the fighting, the superstitions and the stonings, and instead "declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles" (Acts 14:27).

That's how a rag-tag bunch of disciples turned the world upside-down. They weren't smart enough to know they couldn't beat the opposition, so they just kept going, and they just kept winning people to the Lord, and the good news of Jesus Christ spread "from Jerusalem to all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

Daily Prayer

My God, may I just keep going and going as I follow Your leading. Give me the passion and boldness to enter open doors and knock on closed ones. May I always remember what salvation did in my life, fanning the flames so that the fire for this world never dies within me. 

Keep me encouraged and enthusiastic, faithfully living and speaking grace and truth, and trusting You for changed lives. And then may I declare all that You have done.


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