Acts 14:1-7

The same thing occurred in Iconium, where Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who testified to the word of his grace by granting signs and wonders to be done through them. But the residents of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. And when an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, the apostles learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country; and there they continued proclaiming the good news. Acts 14:1-7

At the beginning of the 13th chapter of Acts it says that “while they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” It was on.

Immediately Paul and Barnabas set about the work of telling the Jesus story in both words and acts of healing love. Immediately they learned that, if you are truly following in Jesus’ footsteps, you are going to step into a highly charged, reactive, environment.

Some will be interested, some incensed. Some will receive the word with great joy and some will look for rocks to throw. Some will become partners in the Gospel and some with seek to tear everything you do apart.

No one said it would be easy.

Why do we think that, when God invites us to follow him, he will be ushering us down Easy Street?

Doesn’t it usually boil down to some aspect of self-centeredness, pride, or fear? We want what we want when we want it and we are always looking for an edge, an inside tip, a magical solution, to get it. We want the God who agrees with us, who is on our side, who makes everything better, who gives us what we want.

We want the god we want; instead we get the God we need. Sometimes we welcome that news, other times we reject it. But God never gives us in chasing us down. Paul and Barnabas, following in those nail-scarred footsteps, wouldn’t give up either.

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, it seems so simple. You create us, redeem us, love us, yet we are so quick to reject you and any claims you might make on our lives. We want to do our own thing, go our own way. Sometimes we reject the ones you send our way or we stir up others to hide our own fears. But sometimes we get it. Sometimes we are so grasped by the wonders of your love that we are willing to do anything it takes. May your Spirit have free rein in our lives, taking us wherever you see that we need to be. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


3 Responses to “Acts 14:1-7”

  1. kirk Says:

    A Men

  2. PMA Maynard Kellerman in Beatrice, NE. Says:

    These devotions are tremendous. I use they quite often – to share them with others. The lesson to and for us is so very clear and to the point. The message is very clear for each one of us. Keep them coming!!! Maynard Kellerman, Beatrice, NE.

  3. Carolee Groux Says:

    “5. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6. in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
    Proverbs 3:5-6
    If only we could consistently do this, our lives would be much less complicated and worrisome.

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