Passage for Study: Study of Acts 13: 13 - 52 … Acts 13 linked for study …
My Journal for Today: As Paul and Barnabas got to Pisidia in Antioch on the Sabbath, Paul was given the opportunity to teach in the Synagogue, as was the Jewish custom in the region for traveling teachers. So, after the Word of God was read, Paul got up and gave those Jews an extemporaneous sermon from Genesis to Christ, revealing the truth of Christ’s coming and His death and resurrection, as well as the hope mankind has in Christ as Messiah.
And the word got out; because the next week on the Sabbath practically the whole town showed up, including Gentiles, to hear what Paul would preach. But that was too much for the Jews, who, jealous of the Gentiles being involved, stirred up discord; and ultimately ran Paul and Barney out of town. But the seeds of the Good News had been planted; and many were saved, including many Gentiles.
Paul took advantage of an opportunity when God’s Spirit presented it. He boldly jumped in, without fear, and shared the Gospel message. And that’s what we must be ready to do. You probably know the scripture which Swindoll quotes at the end of his message today, which is John 12: 32, with Jesus speaking, … “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” And right now, as I’m writing this, the exhortation of 1st Peter 3: 15 comes to my mind, which states, “… always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; … “
What today’s passage illustrates, and what Swindoll is teaching in his devotional, is the principle of providential opportunity. When God lays out the opportunities, we must grab them and use them for His glory. That’s also the lesson Jesus taught in His Sermon on the mount. In Matt. 5: 16 [I hope you know it], … Jesus said that we are to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Our question becomes, are we being opportunistic and boldly sharing our story as well as the hope mankind has in Christ anytime God so presents divine appointments for us to do so. I’m afraid that all too often I have been guilty of letting fear of failure or my imagination of the opinions of others stand in my way of sharing my testimony or my Savior when God opened windows of opportunity. Too many times, I have backed off, even when God has obviously put someone in my path and given me the opening to share my story or the truth of Christ with them. May God forgive me for not grabbing hold and being bold when He would have been glorified by me shining His light with others? May I do better in the future?!
My Prayer for Today: Lord, give me opportunities to share You with others; and then embolden me with Your Spirit to shine Your light. Amen