Passage for Study: Study of Acts 13: 13 - 52 … Acts 13 linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Certainly anyone, who reads and studies the book of Acts, even in reading through this passage repeated for today, recognizes that the primary message Paul brought to Asia Minor and everywhere God led him was the magnificent, liberating message of the Gospel to the lost of the world, especially to the Gentiles. We see that ringing clearly by examining Acts 13: 38 – 39 in today’s passage. Paul was driven to share what God had done for him; and that is to set him free from his own sin and set him on a path to heaven.
In today’s devotional, Chuck Swindoll brings out an interesting and convicting speculation. He writes, “Imagine the impact our churches would have on our communities if each Christian committed to sharing the gospel once a week with someone who expresses a need.” Would that not be something?!
And that certainly was Paul’s primary mission after his conversion. But a secondary message Paul espoused and taught was also very important; and we can also find that teaching in today’s passage as well; and through it, Paul brought the message of the power of God’s grace to those who are saved.
I often wonder what Christians would be like in this dark, chaotic, and crushing world if we could release the resurrection power of God’s grace in the lives of believers who really got that message. What would we Christians look like and act like if we truly were set free by God’s grace? Oh, it is so sad to see how the enemy’s lies of condemnation and shame have us shackled in our self imposed prisons of legalism and shame.
Paul wanted to release the captives with God’s grace, which was, of course, Jesus’ mission as He stated it in Luke 4: 18 (go back and read and meditate on that passage, dear one!). Are we living in that mission statement? If not, we may be saved; but we are certainly not living with the power that can be ours if we truly believe, internalize, and live with the freeing power of God’s amazing, liberating, and empowering grace.
When a Christian really gets it, he or she begins to live as Paul helped Christians live when he wrote passages like Phil. 4: 13 or 1st Cor. 10: 13 or 2nd Cor. 12: 9 or Gal. 6: 9 – 10 or 2nd Tim. 1: 7 [click on passage to read]. My friend, as you note those passages of truth cited, I hope (and pray) that you know what they say in your heart and that you’re living according to the releasing power of God’s grace which they teach. Because if you do live by these truths, you’ll not be fearful of the chaos and confusion of this world. You’ll also be freed, enabled, and empowered to use your gifts for God’s glory; and you’ll be out there in the world, as was Paul, sharing your testimony, the Gospel message, and the enabling grace which comes from being surrendered to Christ. That is my prayer here today for all of who have found Christ and now must live in a world which hates all He represents.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, God … free us with the power of Your enabling grace to live lives which glorify You as we proclaim and live in Your truth. Amen