In Today's Scripture Reading:
Paul and Barnabas at Iconium; stoning of Paul at Lystra; return to Antioch; Paul on second missionary journey; Paul's Macedonian vision; conversion of Lydia; conversion of Philippian jailer
Almost everywhere Paul and Barnabas traveled an assault was made . . . to use them despitefully (wrongfully), and to stone them (Acts 14:5). In Iconium, about 90 miles east of Pisidian Antioch, violent opposition again erupted when Paul told the unbelieving Jews that Jesus was the Messiah foretold by the prophets (14:2). He fled from Iconium and went about 20 miles to Lystra where his attention was drawn to a crippled man. Paul . . . stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked (14:9-10). Upon seeing this miraculous healing, the people were convinced that The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men (14:11). Paul and Barnabas strongly objected to being made objects of idolatrous worship (14:12-18).
Following this event, certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe, where they made many disciples (14:19-20).
Later, Paul made a brief reference to his sufferings for Christ, saying: We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God (14:22; also 9:16). Whenever there is a true spiritual awakening and people are being saved, without exception, Satan will seek to disrupt, discourage, and destroy the results. So, we too should not be surprised that, following our best efforts to serve the Lord, Satan will seek to discourage us through hardships and even disappointments from those of whom we may have expected encouragement. Paul, the man God chose to write most of our New Testament, faced many dangers; but still he could write: I know both how to be abased (made low), and I know how to abound (have abundance): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:12-13).
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 The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Staff: Mike Moore • Government Official: Secretary Condoleezza Rice (Department of State) • Country: Qatar (600,000) in southwestern Asia • Major languages: Arabic and English • Muslim conversion to Christ is forbidden, but expatriate Christians are allowed to meet informally • 79.5% Muslim; 10.5% Christian; 7.2% Hindu; 1.8% Buddhist; .9% non-Religious/other • Prayer Suggestion: Confess your sins and ask the Lord to restore the joy of your salvation (Psalm 51:1-3,12).
Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:12