Tag: Gentile converts
Scripture reading for June 21st: Acts 13:42-14:7
Even when the preaching got them expelled from the region, the missionaries left with joy knowing that the Lord was using them to bring light into the darkness! The people who were usually behind the persecution were the religious Jews who were threatened by the message and its power to draw people.
Paul and Silas were invited back to the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch. During the week, their message stirred up the people and the whole city was on hand to hear them again. (Acts 13:44-45) This made the Jews who ruled the synagogue jealous and they talked abusively about the missionaries. “Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”” (Acts 13:46-47)
The Gentiles who heard this word of rebuke, gladly believed and were saved. The word of the Lord spread quickly throughout the whole region but the Jews were upset and pushed back against it. “But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 13:50-52)
The disciples had been taught by Jesus how to respond–shake the dust off as a witness against these people! (Matthew 10:14-15) Jesus had promised that it would be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town or people. Jesus sent his disciples out as sheep among the wolves and they needed to be shrewd and know that not everyone would accept their message! It would offend some.
Even as they were expelled, a fullness of joy and the Holy Spirit marked these followers. It is a blessing to be used by God for the purpose of bringing eternal life to those who will be saved! There is no joy quite like it! Have you experienced this joy for yourself? Why not ask the Lord for opportunity today?