Day 79: What an Inspiration

Acts 14:1-7 :

It happened in Iconium that they entered together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed. But the disbelieving Jews stirred up and embittered the souls of the Gentiles against the brothers. Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who testified to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided. Part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles. When some of both the Gentiles and the Jews, with their rulers, made a violent attempt to mistreat and stone them, they became aware of it, and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, Derbe, and the surrounding region. There they preached the Good News.

We see a pattern developing now. Disbelieving Jews are swaying people against the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In a matter of time, the people are so troubled that Paul either gets kicked out or has to run for his life. This has been the story of Paul’s life after he believed.

Notice that disbelieving Jews actually stir up the people enough that it eventually reaches the rulers and the rulers eventually fight against the Christians even though they are simply speaking the truth. It is alarming that these early Christians were treated like criminals by the government instead of being honored as examples of good citizenship.

When I consider what Paul went through to bring the Gospel to us, I realize that my troubles are not that serious. I also realize that in many countries today, persecution it is very serious for Christians. Paul went through these things without complaining as he continued to push the message of the Gospel forward until it reached me. This is quite an inspiration.

Notice that Paul and Barnabas, after fleeing Iconium, went right on to Lycaonia, Lystra, and Derbe. Missionaries are continuing to share the message with people who have never heard it today and God is blessing their work. This is an example for us, we should not fear any person, but, instead fear only God and be careful to do what He wants us to do.