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Therefore They Spent a Long Time There

May 21, 2018

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Therefore, They Spent a Long Time There

Love and circumstances,  work and needs  often give us reasons  for doing what we do.     When Paul and Barnabas went about preaching,  their stay in certain cities  often depended  on the needs of the people there,  and the circumstances.     In the book of Acts  we often see how they had to escape  from some cities,  in order to keep  from being stoned to death.

Such was the case in Acts 13,  when Paul preached  to the Jews  at Pisidian Antioch.     Some of the Jews were so jealous at seeing the people rejoice  over the gospel,  that they started contradicting and blaspheming  Paul’s preaching.     Paul and Barnabas replied  in Acts 13:46,

It was necessary  that the word of God should be spoken  to you first;  since you repudiate it,  and judge yourselves unworthy  of eternal life,  behold,  we are turning  to the Gentiles.

When the Gentiles rejoiced  over the salvation of Jesus Christ,  the jealous Jews  drove Paul and Barnabas out.     Paul and Barnabas shook the dust  of the city  off their feet  as a sign of protest  against the angry Jews.     And they went to Iconium instead.    Acts 14:1-3 shows the opposition and circumstances  they met there.

And it came about  that in Iconium  they entered the synagogue of the Jews together,  and spoke in such a manner  that a great multitude believed,  both of Jews  and of Greeks.

But the Jews who disbelieved  stirred up the minds  of the Gentiles,  and embittered them  against the brethren.    Therefore, they spent a long time there  speaking boldly  with reliance  upon the Lord,  who was bearing witness  to the word of His grace,  granting that signs and wonders be done  by their hands.

Even though  those who disbelieved hatefully worked  to cause problems at Iconium,  Paul and Barnabas were able  to continue preaching boldly  because God granted that signs and wonders  could be performed there.     In the midst  of great conflict,  Paul and Barnabas were not actually stopped,  so they continued to preach — for a long time.     It was only later,  when they were about to be stoned to death,  that they escaped  and went to preach elsewhere.

The circumstances Paul and Barnabas faced  aren’t all that different  in many places  throughout the world today.     Some people welcome the word of God  because they are able to see  how God has worked  down through the ages  to keep His promise  of a Savior from sin.     They realize  that only God’s power  could possibly keep written promises  made thousands of years ago.     So,  based on sure evidence,  they have the wisdom  to accept the facts  of God’s workings  in Christ Jesus  for our salvation.

But,  there obviously are many  like those Paul and Barnabas faced,  who “repudiate it  and judge yourselves unworthy  of eternal life.”     So,  the question we need to ask ourselves is  what do we think  about Jesus Christ  taking away our sins?     Do we really trust Jesus  to give us eternal life  just through faith  in Him?     Or do we repudiate  the very idea  of needing a Savior?     Do we despise God’s love and salvation  through Christ?

Our “thinking” all depends  on what we really “see”  in all of God’s word — and if we allow God  to work in our hearts  as we hear His word.     If,  through God’s word,  we can see  that we truly are sinners  headed for hell,  our common sense will tell us  that we need a Savior right now.     If,  through God’s word,  we can see  that all God’s promises  about the Savior came true  in Jesus Christ,  then we will understand  that Jesus truly is the only One  who can take away  all our sins  through His sacrifice  on the cross.     There has to be truth  in all those fulfilled prophecies.     If,  through God’s word,  we can see  that God has proven  that He is faithful and loves us  with an everlasting love,  then we will be able to realize  that God has not left us  to die in our sins.     He is our heavenly Father,  our Savior,  King,  Redeemer,  and so much more.

Let us judge ourselves  as “beloved” and “made worthy”  of eternal salvation  through the blood  of Jesus Christ.

As we daily study  our heavenly Father’s word  to us  and know  that we are children of the King,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  You have made us worthy of Your salvation  by the merits  of Your blood shed  on the cross  for us.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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