Tag: joy and the Holy Spirit
Scripture reading for May 22nd: Acts 13, Psalm 102, Proverbs 9
Key Scriptures: Acts 13:48-52 “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the Word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. And the Word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
Paul and Barnabas had been sent off by the church on a missionary journey to preach to the Gentiles. As they preached the Word of God, many Gentiles believed. This caused the Jews to incite persecution. Paul and Barnabas simply shook the dust off their feet as Jesus had instructed them and went on their way. Those who believed were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit! Unbelievers were filled with wrath!
Faith Confession: The Word of God brings salvation to the humble and causes persecution from the religious. Help me to respond appropriately to persecution and use me to spread Your Word throughout the place You put me. Thank You for filling me with joy and the Holy Spirit!
Psalm 102:12 “But You, O Lord, are enthroned forever; You are remembered throughout all generations.”
Scripture reading for June 19th: Acts 12:24-13:15
We see the Holy Spirit deeply involved in the missions effort of the early church. At Antioch, the church met with various prophets and teachers gathering together for worship and fasting. During a worship service, the Holy Spirit spoke through one of the prophets, giving a word of knowledge and instruction. “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2) The church continued the time of fasting and worship and then laid hands on these men and sent them on their journey. The Holy Spirit had already been leading them and this word confirmed that now was the time to go.
They went by boat to the Island of Cyprus. They went to the Jewish synagogues and preached to the Jews the word of Christ. As they traveled, they met a Jewish false prophet and sorcerer named Elymas, who was an attendant to Sergius Paulus, the Proconsul of the island. Sergius Paulus sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. They were opposed by Elymas and he tried to hinder their ministry. The Holy Spirit rose up in Saul (Paul), and he looked at this sorcerer and rebuked him: “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.” (Acts 13:10-11) This blindness came on Elymas immediately and when the Proconsul saw this happen, he believed!
These missionaries traveled from city to city, led by the Holy Spirit. Their pattern was to go first to the Jews and preach Jesus Christ. When opposition arose from the Jews and religious spirits, they went to the God-fearing Gentiles who were open to be saved. (Acts 13:42-48) This was the word of the Lord that they followed and God through the Holy Spirit brought a harvest among the Gentiles! When persecution came up against them, they did what Jesus had taught them, shaking the dust from their feet they went to another city! (Acts 13:51-52) Even with the persecution, these disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit!
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?