Acts 13:50 – But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
Let me offer you some great news from the very beginning today. Just because you expect it is no indication you have to accept it, or even tolerate it. In fact, if you truly expect it, you should be even better prepared to deal with it. Read our Text for Today once again. Paul and Barnabas faced resistance and even rejection in their ministry. The world and its evil system often made that quite clear, such as in their imprisonment in Philippi. But the resistance and rejection they faced was much deeper than that. It was found in the Jewish community, too.
In fact, some of the Jews hated Paul so much they sought to kill him, one group even having made a vow upon the death of Paul. Now just a few verses before our Text for Today, we read that on the Sabbath day, “almost the whole city” came together to hear the Word of the Lord. And yet just a short time after that, the Jews stirred up the “devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city,” and raised great persecution, resistance, and even rejection of Paul and Barnabas. It was so intense that Paul and Barnabas were even expelled, not only from their city proper, but from all the lands under the domain of the city.
Please take note here, dear reader. Are you a child of God? Are you living the life of an ambassador of Christ? Are you committed to speaking the Word of Truth into and about every situation you encounter? If you answers to these and similar questions are “YES,” then you should, by all means, expect to encounter resistance, rejection, persecution, and even expulsion from among gatherings of the world, homes of the world, even business establishments owned by the world, and saddest of all, from churches and Christian groups that have been influenced, and worse yet, begin to resemble the world. My heart weeps over all these arenas, but especially the last two. After the price of redemption paid by our Lord and Savior, I am both saddened and angered at what I see, in some places, running rampant inside the walls of our churches.
YES! We should by all means expect it, but never, Never, NEVER accept it. And dear friend, I urge you with all urgency of heart, never, Never, NEVER tolerate in YOUR house, be it your domestic or your spiritual house. Stand against it in the full force of your faith and do not allow it to even appear to prevail. Lives are at stake. Use your armor to the fullest.
Manna for Today – Acts 13:13-52; John 15:18-25; Matthew 5:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; John 17:18