Highlights In Today's Reading:
1st mission trip ends (14:27-28). Paul's 2nd mission trip (chap. 16). A call from Macedonia (16:6-10). Christians can have peace, joy, and a song in their hearts (16:22-25). Miraculous victory in Jesus (16:26-40).
After Paul was baptized by Ananias in Damascus, he wrote: Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. . . . but I went into Arabia (Gal. 1:16-17). Then he returned to Damascus certain days. . . . And . . . he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God (Acts 9:19-20). Because of the hostility of the Jews, the disciples let him through a window in a basket . . . and (he) escaped (II Cor. 11:33). Paul went to Jerusalem and spake boldly in the Name of the Lord Jesus . . . but they went about to slay him (Acts 9:29).
Barnabas was moved by the Holy Spirit to go to Tarsus and bring Saul to Antioch (11:25-26). Sometime later, in the church there, as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost (Spirit) said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away (13:2-3).
Wherever they went, they preached. . . . that through this Man (Jesus) is . . . the forgiveness of sins: And by Him all that believe are justified (13:5,38-39). . . . And . . . a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed (14:1).
Almost everywhere Paul traveled there was violent opposition by unbelieving Jews. When he was speaking at Lystra certain Jews . . . persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead (14:19). However, Paul rose up . . . and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe (14:20).
Later, the Apostle Paul made just a brief statement referring to his near death and extreme suffering, saying: We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God (14:22). There are "musts" in the life of every Christian and we should not be surprised that, following our best efforts to serve the Lord, Satan will seek to discourage us.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy (I Pet. 4:12-13).
Thought for Today:
I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation (Hab. 3:18).
14:2 made their minds evil affected =b> influenced them to be hostile; 14:8 impotent =b> weak, helpless, crippled; 15:10 yoke =b> burden.
For Acts 15:16-17: See Amos 9:11-12.
Pray for Staff: Beth Carlton • Country: Liberia (3 million) in West Africa • Major languages: English and more than 20 local languages of the Niger-Congo language group • Religious freedom • 41% ancestor worship and witchcraft; 21% Muslim; 13% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and praise God with a spirit of thankfulness for His goodness (Ps. 107:1,21).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 16:25