Committed to the Cause

Wendy Pope

Day: 16 | Plan: Acts

Today's Reading: Acts 14

Acts 14:1 (NIV) “At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.”

The dynamic duo missionary team, Paul and Barnabas, are closing out the last leg of the first missionary journey in the town of Iconium. Though the shortest in length of his three journeys, this trip established Paul as a leader of the early Church and fearless communicator of the gospel.

The governor in Paphos became a believer after hearing the good news of Jesus. (Acts 13:12) Many Gentiles in Antioch accepted the message of eternal life. Even though some devout Jews followed them in their journey, many became jealous. Religious female leaders incited a mob against them forcing them to leave. Today’s key verse tells us Paul and Barnabas continued to preach the same message in Iconium.

After success as well as robust resistance in Paphos, Perga, and Antioch, Paul and Barnabas continued on their journey to Iconium. They stayed in Iconium and preached boldly. Many believed yet many resisted. (Acts 14:1-4) Since the opinions of the people were divided, Paul and Barnabas were forced to move on to Lystra and Derbe.

When we are successful in sharing the gospel, we will meet opposition. However, opposition isn’t an excuse for complacency. Paul and Barnabas didn’t stop sharing the gospel; they stayed committed to the cause, taking the message to a new audience.

Let’s be challenged to persevere through opposition; however, not to the point of physical danger. When threatened by bodily harm, they left Iconium. (Acts 14:5-6) Like Paul and Barnabas, we can lean on the Holy Spirit’s leading as to where to go and how long to stay. This tenacious team has taught us the great lesson to stay committed to the cause of Christ. Not sharing the gospel is not an option.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for all the missionaries who literally risk their lives for the sake of the gospel. I pray I don’t grow weary and cower under the pressure of those who oppose Your message. Help me be sensitive to Your Spirit in discerning when I should stay and when I should go. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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