Read Acts 13:41-52
3. Events in Galatian Cities. Paul and his company travels from place to place in this section of the Book of Acts. John Mark left them in Perga. Paul shared in the synagogues about the forgiveness available through Jesus who was crucified but then resurrected.
Many people were receptive to hearing Paul and Barnabas out. But the Jewish leaders were so jealous of the crowds that they stirred up persecution. The Gentiles however were glad and many believed.
- Demonstrated appreciation. Notice in vss. 42-44 of this section of the Book of Acts that there was a demonstration of appreciation for Paul and Barnabas’ ministry.
There are too many who appreciate the ministry that they receive from their Pastor, teachers, ministry managers, and others, but they rarely demonstrate their appreciation. Let’s work on demonstrating our appreciation.
We don’t want to wait until someone dies or leaves, before we share with them how much we appreciate them. There is a great deal of wisdom in the saying, “you don’t miss your water, until your well runs dry.”
- Power of relationships and word-of-mouth. Notice in vs.44 of the Book of that the huge crowd is the product of people talking to people.
Our churches would be filled, if more people used the power of their relationships to get people to come and hear the word of the Lord. Too much energy is spent on the negatives of the church and church goers.
Let’s work on using our relationships to invite and bring people to church and Christ. We don’t want to be party to our loved ones being lost. But we run this risk, when we fail to invite and try to bring them to the Lord.
- Jealousy. Notice in vs. 45 of this section of the Book of Acts that the Jews were moved by jealousy to oppose what God was doing through Paul. On one hand, don’t be surprised when people get jealousy of the good work that God is doing in you.
The greater an asset you are for the Lord, the more the devil focus on you. The devil often uses jealousy among religious people to get them to do his dirty work. And sometimes those being used by the devil are unaware.
On the other hand, don’t let the devil use you. You never have to be jealousy about what others seem to have. God can give you more than you need. If you don’t have it, it means you don’t need it right now.
Trust God for your provision, instead of being jealousy about what others appear to have. Let’s be mindful of jealousy and guarding against being jealous.
- Rejecters are losers. Notice in vss. 46-47 that those who rejected God’s word were losers. If you are not careful, you will become so distracted by people (i.e., the messenger, your peers, etc.) and problems that you end up rejecting God’s word.
Whenever you reject God’s word, you are the loser. Let’s work on keeping people and problems from distracting us from obeying God’s word.
- Receiving God’s word with gladness and honor. Notice in vs. 48 that the Gentiles heard the word of God with gladness and honor, as they were appointed unto eternal life.
It is a privilege, not a right, to have someone bring you the word of God. When you are blessed to have a word from the Lord, you should receive it with gladness and honor, instead of taking it for granted.
There are many churches who stand for the reading of the scripture, as a way of honoring the word. God would be much more honored by us obeying His word than simply standing while it is being read.
As for “appointed unto eternal life,” the issues of predestination are beyond the scope of this teaching. But let me at least say that God will do what He is supposed to do with election.
Our tasks are to make sure we are saved and help others get saved. Let’s work on receiving the word of God with gladness and obedient honor, as saved people.
- Persecution, rejection, and receptiveness. Notice in vss. 49-52 of this section of the Book of Acts that as the word of God spread, so did persecution. Notice further that the ministers did not stay where they were not wanted.
There were receptive people at the next stop. First, don’t be surprised by progress leading to persecution. The daily dedication of discipleship is needed to endure rough times.
Second, God wants us to love those who receive our love. But we are not to force it on them. When people indicate that they want you to leave, you should leave.
Too many well intentioned believers are trying to force people into accepting the gospel, even though such is contrary to the teachings of God’s word. And third, God has some people who want to hear.
Don’t be so distracted by those who are contrary to God’s word that you fail to minister to those who are receptive. Let’s work on bracing ourselves for persecution, loving those who let us, and ministering to the receptive.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.
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