Bible Reference: Acts 13:46
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
Bible Text: Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and declared, “It was necessary that we first preach the word of God to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we will offer it to the Gentiles.
OBSERVATION: Unless we become very familiar with God’s Word, and understand the full Gospel of Jesus Christ, we may easily become distracted and side tracked into believing that we know it all. As a follower of Christ, we should be closely listening to what He has to share with us, especially through His Word. As we meditate on our Scripture today, we might see where the Jews thought that they had every detail under control and that God would have nothing more to share with them through mere humans. Do we tend to border on this same feeling when His messengers stand before us each week and share His message? Do you suppose that God may eventually tire in trying to get through to us?
APPLICATION: I’ve been in situations before where a parent or another adult may have said “well you don’t deserve that anyway”! Perhaps out of anger that I failed an exam, or didn’t listen to a lecture as closely as they thought I should have. But the words chosen by Paul and Barnabas were especially interesting in this particular verse. Paul and his partner had been preaching their hearts out to the Jews gathered, and while some may have listened, it was obvious that most were satisfied with the same message they had been taught all along, and had no interest in hearing about this new ‘miracle worker’ (Jesus) who had just entered their scene. Paul and Barnabas felt the roadblocks they were facing, and tried to not force their message on the Jews, so they told them how they had just considered themselves unworthy of the prize (the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior of the world). Consequently, they would go on to preach the Good News to the Gentiles who, in the eyes of the Jews, were nobodies who were unworthy of anything worthwhile. I wonder how many of our friends have entered our church doors, listened to the message of the cross and left thinking that they are so unworthy of this awesome gift of love that God sent to earth for us? I wonder how many reading this devotional sometime feel like the message of the cross is for those who are good; those from good families; those who have attended church all their lives; but certainly would never redeem them of their sin. Friends, let me be quick to remind you that God has no favorites, other than the children that He created – and that includes us all. He died so that everyone (whosoever will) may ask for forgiveness of sin and accept the prize available to us through the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘All’ means that no one is excluded! ‘All’ means even you and I may receive that awesome gift of love, dear friend! Please do not be influenced by the Jews. Know that Jesus died for your sin, and that He has made the way for you to enter Heaven’s gates and join He and the Father at the throne. Please be sure to read my Footnote and know without a doubt that you are on your way to Heaven. I want to see you there my friend!
PRAYER: Father, thank You for not only creating my friends and I in Your image, but for also sending Your Son so that we might have the means of entering Your kingdom to personally be with You throughout eternity. Please touch the hearts of Your people today with the assurance that You made this sacrifice so that we all may know, believe, and be assured of our eternal salvation. Many will hear the gospel message this week, may this loving message resonate throughout all of our churches so that Your people may hear and know that they are loved and accepted by their Creator, and therefore surrender their lives to His precious Son, Jesus. We love You Lord! AMEN!