Keep On Sharing
Day: 15 | Plan: Acts
Today's Reading: Acts 13
Acts 13:46 (NIV) “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 yourself worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.’”
Jesus instructed His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. He told them to share the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8)
Acts 13 marks the third stage of the expansion of the gospel. The target of this expansion would be the Roman Empire. This chapter is the beginning of what is called the missionary era. The word “missionary” comes from the Latin word “mitto” or “missum.” It means, “to send.” The mission of the Church is to send people out into areas of the world where the name of Jesus Christ is not known.
The church at Antioch would become a mighty missionary tool in the hands of God. Antioch was a well-established and well-taught church with sound doctrine. (Acts 11:25-26) It was a worshiping, fasting, fellowshipping, and praying church. Antioch was a church that actively sought God’s guidance, and when the Holy Spirit instructed them to set apart Paul and Barnabas for God’s work, they obeyed. (Acts 13:2-3)
Sometimes we forget the wisdom and power to do ministry comes from the Holy Spirit, but not the church at Antioch. And so under the direction of the Holy Spirit, Paul and Barnabas were sent on their way to do mission work. (Acts 13:4) Their purpose was to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others.
In every city Paul and Barnabas visited, their first stop was the Jewish synagogue. The synagogues were places of regular worship that were open to strangers. Jews and also God-fearing Gentiles attended these Jewish synagogues and were instructed in the Old Testament, so a synagogue was an open door for the early gospel preachers to proclaim the message of salvation to the Jews and the Gentiles. (Acts 13:15-16, 26)
As the people gathered, Paul and Barnabas faithfully proclaimed “the word of God” and the good news about Jesus Christ. As a result, whole cities turned out to hear “the word of the Lord” and the gospel spread throughout the entire region. (Acts 13:46, 49)
Because of the crowds, many of the Jews were filled with jealousy and instead of embracing and believing the gospel, they rejected it. They began talking abusively against Paul and Barnabas, and continued stirring up persecution against them. They even had Paul and Barnabas expelled from their town.
The Jews and the nation of Israel should have been a light to the Gentiles. God had entrusted them with taking the message of salvation to the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 49:6) But if they would not believe and share the gospel, the Word would not be bound. Paul and Barnabas would keep sharing God’s message of salvation with the Gentiles.
Whether the gospel was received or rejected, Paul and Barnabas persisted in their God-appointed task to share the light of Jesus Christ and the gospel message wherever they went. And they did it with joy and in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:47, 51-52)
What a great lesson for us!
You see, just like Paul and Barnabas, God desires for you and me to keep on sharing the light of Christ and the gospel message with the world around us. We may face difficulties, opposition and even rejection. But God will fill us with joy and the Holy Spirit’s power as we continue to honor His Word and obey.
Prayer: Father, I thank You for sending forth Your Word during this first missionary journey. Because it was faithfully proclaimed, honored and joyfully received by many, our lives have been impacted too. Help us to keep on sharing Your gospel. Fill us with Your joy and with the Holy Spirit’s power. Encourage our hearts and give us the boldness we need to make the most of every opportunity we have to share the truth about Jesus. May Your Word be honored in our lives today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
In Acts 13 we find the phrase “the word of God” or “the word... Read More
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