Today’s Tasting: Acts 13-14
On Paul’s first missionary journey, he turned to the Gentiles. The Acts of the Apostles could also be described as the Acts of Peter and the Acts of Paul. Some have even said it could the called the Acts of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 13 tells the story of the first missionary journey of Paul (who had previously been known as Saul) and Barnabas. The church in Antioch (modern day Turkey) sent Paul and Barnabas out to preach by the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. They preached in Jewish synagogues in Seleucia (Iraq). Then, they traveled on to the island of Cyprus. A magician and false prophet opposed their teaching and tried to keep the governor from the faith. It seems that with little intimidation, Paul spoke blindness over the magician and he was blinded. This miracle grabbed the governor’s attention and he believed!
They traveled on to Perga (back in Turkey) and then to Pisidian Antioch (a different Antioch than where they started) where the synagogue officials asked for words of exhortation from them. Paul preached – he told the history of God and His people, from living in Egypt, their journey through the wilderness, and all the way up to Jesus’ coming, death and resurrection. Paul challenged them to not miss the freedom of accepting Jesus as Messiah. Many of the Jews followed.
The next week nearly the whole city turned out to hear the word of God from Paul. But, the Jews became jealous of the crowds following him. They began speaking irreverently about the things Paul spoke. Paul told the Jews he was moving on to preach to the Gentiles (us – the non Jews) to bring about their salvation. The Gentiles responded by rejoicing and accepting the Lord’s eternal life. The Word of the Lord was spread throughout the whole region.
The Jews started persecuting Paul and Barnabas and drove them out of their area. Paul shook their dust off his feet and moved on to Iconium, where many believed. The disciples were continually filled with joy and the Holy Spirit! The Jews stirred up trouble causing bitterness among the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas, which ended up with an attempt to stone Paul and Barnabas to death. Paul and Barnabas moved on to Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe and continued to preach the gospel. People were healed and some thought of Paul as a god. Paul explained that he was just like they were but people still tried to sacrifice to them. The Jews stoned Paul. They thought he was dead and dragged him out of the city. But, later he arose and moved on the next city to continue to preach. They made many disciples, but not without much tribulation.
Today’s Nourishment: It amazes me to hear of Paul’s journey. I picture the beginning, excitement for Paul as he shares his story about Jesus.
I can’t imagine:
- The challenges by a magician and false prophet, and other nonbelievers
- Speaking to powerful people like governors
- Others chasing me out of cities
- The Jews, God’s chosen people, speaking against me rather than following me
- The strength and determination to wipe their dust off my feet and keep on preaching
- Near death from stoning by the very people to whom I preached the gospel
Paul’s love of God and his desire to spread His Word is powerful. He helped change the world by sharing the gospel to the Gentiles, along with the Jews, regardless of his personal hardships. To anyone who believes…
Amidst your hardships, how do you continue to share the gospel, even to those who may not accept your life and message? Share with us: http://thebiblefeastblog.com
Tomorrow’s Delight: James
Kelly Quinn, South Carolina, wife to Artie, Mama to seven
a Rafflecopter giveaway