Day 21 - Concord Student Journey


Read Acts 14
At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders. The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles. There was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews,together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, where they continued to preach the gospel.
In Lystra and Derbe
In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.
The Return to Antioch in Syria
21 They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders[a]for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. 24 After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia, 25 and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
26 From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch,where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. 27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.
Acts chapter 14 is a powerful account of the missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas, as they traveled to various cities to spread the message of the gospel. In this chapter, we see their unwavering commitment to the cause of Christ, as well as the challenges they faced along the way. Here are four lessons we can learn from this inspiring chapter:
Perseverance in the face of opposition - Despite facing opposition and persecution in every city they visited, Paul and Barnabas remained steadfast in their mission. They continued to preach the gospel, heal the sick, and make disciples. Their unwavering commitment to Christ's cause is a testament to the power of faith in the face of adversity.
Faith in the power of God - Paul and Barnabas believed that God was able to do great things through them, and they acted accordingly. They prayed for the sick, cast out demons, and boldly proclaimed the truth of the gospel. Their faith in God's power enabled them to accomplish incredible things, and it serves as a reminder to us that nothing is impossible with God.
Humility in the midst of success - Despite the miracles they performed and the crowds they drew, Paul and Barnabas remained humble and gave all the glory to God. They recognized that their success was not due to their own abilities, but to the grace and power of God. Their example reminds us that true success comes from serving God with a humble heart.
The importance of community - Throughout their journey, Paul and Barnabas were supported by a community of believers who encouraged them and helped them along the way. This community provided strength, accountability, and fellowship, and it played a vital role in their success. We too need the support and encouragement of a community of believers to help us on our journey of faith.
Reflection Questions:
What challenges am I currently facing in my life, and how can I persevere in the face of these challenges with faith and trust in God's power?
Am I serving God with a humble heart, recognizing that all success and accomplishments come from His grace and power? How can I cultivate a greater sense of humility in my life?
Acts chapter 14 offers us many valuable lessons for our journey of faith. Go out and put them into practice today!


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