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Bible Pathways - November 14, 2005

November 14

Read Acts 14

In Today's Reading:

Paul and Barnabas at Iconium; stoning of Paul at Lystra; return to Antioch; journey with Silas; Paul's Macedonian vision; conversion of Lydia; conversion of Philippian jailer

Almost everywhere Paul and Barnabas traveled, there was an assault made . . . to use them despitefully (abuse them violently), and to stone them (Acts 14:5). In Iconium, about 90 miles east of Pisidian Antioch, violent opposition again erupted when Paul told the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah foretold by the prophets. 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 are (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 many became disciples (14:19-20).

Later, Paul referred briefly to his sufferings for Christ by saying: We must through much tribulation (affliction, persecution) 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 effect. 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 expected encouragement. Paul, the man God chose to write most of our New Testament, faced many dangers; yet he confidently wrote: I know both how to be abased (humbled, 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).

Word Studies:

14:2 made their minds evil affected against = turned them hostile against; 14:8 impotent = weak, helpless, crippled; 15:10 yoke = burden.

Cross Reference:

For Acts 15:16-17: See Amos 9:11-12.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mason & Thelma Govedich and Mrs. Minerva Wahlborg · Staff: Clarence Rathbone · Government Official: Secretary Condoleezza Rice (Department of State) · Country: United Arab Emirates (2 million) on the eastern Arabian Peninsula · Major languages: Arabic and Farsi · Pressure and hostility against Christians are increasing · 95% Muslim; 4% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your words and thoughts will be pleasing to the Lord (Psalm 19:14).

Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:25


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