Scripture reading for May 3rd: 1st Samuel 20, 1st Chronicles 4, Psalm 56-57, 142, Acts 14
Acts 14:19-23 “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the Gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in Whom they had believed.”
Paul had been a persecutor of Christ’s followers in his former life as a zealous Pharisee. He had caused much tribulation and fear through his murderous crusade to eliminate believers. God told Ananias, the believer who laid hands on him to receive his sight after his encounter with Jesus, that He would show Paul how much he would suffer for His Name. Paul understood that tribulation was part of the package in preaching the Gospel. Satan did not give up territory easily! But God’s grace was greater! God would fulfill His purposes and flesh and blood could do no real harm! Those who rejected God’s Word would be put to shame! God’s love and faithfulness would protect them!
Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, Whose Word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
Psalm 57:3 “He will send from heaven and save me; He will put to shame him who tramples on me. Go will send out His steadfast love and His faithfulness!”
Prayer: God my Father, thank You for Your great love and faithfulness to preserve Your people and work out Your plans through Your people–even in tribulations. I put my trust in You! You will fulfill Your plans through my life through trials and tribulations. To You alone be all glory!
1st Samuel 20:42 “Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the Name of the Lord, saying, “The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.'” And He rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.”