Scripture: Acts 14.
(What is God saying here?)
Acts 14:1-4 (NLT)
1 The same thing happened in Iconium. Paul and Barnabas went to the Jewish synagogue and preached with such power that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers. 2 Some of the Jews, however, spurned God’s message and poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas. 3 But the apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders.
4 But the people of the town were divided in their opinion about them. Some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
I believe that the same thing that happened in this passage still occurs today in our churches:
- There are still good preachers and evangelists that preach the Word of God with great power and many are saved;
- There are still Christians and non-believers that distract the spreading of the gospel because of jealousy and/or risk of losing church members to another following;
- God will honor our determination to serve Him, even through opposition and diversity;
- We probably will not win them all, but some will discern the handiwork of God and will surrender their lives to Him through our persistent hard work and determination to do God’s will.
I have often thought about what might be said about our era and how our work may compare to that of Bible characters/missionaries/evangelists. I know that in some parts of the world, Christians are still being persecuted and even killed, but we know little about this in the USA. I wonder how we would hold up under such persecution? Thank God for warriors like Paul and Barnabas, and thank God for the soldiers of the cross today. May we all be found pleasing in God’s sight for carrying on His work in our parts of the world, whether under persecution or not.
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Father You know about those of us that face persecution in one form or another as we seek to do Your will each day. You know the needs that still exist in our own backyards and the effort we put into evangelizing the lost. I was disturbed to hear last night that only about 10% of our towns are churched. This means that less than that are actually saved. This means that we have an awesome mission field right in our own backyards. Please help us to be busy about Your work of winning the lost. Please encourage Your church to be the church and extend Your plan of salvation to all. It would be awesome to see the statistics in reverse, only 10% unsaved! Please use us to fulfill Your desire of our town, beginning with using me today, is my prayer.
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