Sunday, October 21, 2012
Welcome to Day 294 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Job 9:4, “His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?”
Job 10:3, “Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the plans of the wicked?”
Acts 13:44, “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.”
Acts 14:3, “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. 4 The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles.”
19 “They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.”
When you share the Gospel message, you never know what you’re going to get…
Or, maybe you do?
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating… The reaction is always the same to the Gospel. Some believe. Some want to hear more. Some sneer. (See Acts 17.)
In one city, word spread and everyone gathered to hear. The Gentiles were overjoyed, while many of the Jews got upset. Ultimately, there were “expelled from that region.”
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Throw in the complexity of Jews vs. Gentiles and you have a recipe for conflict. Paul and Barnabas were in the thick of it. Paul was stoned in Lystra/Derbe after being proclaimed a god (Hermes) then the Jews turned the crowd against him…
Such is life.
Proclaimed a god one minute, stoned within an inch of your life the next…
You have to keep in mind that Paul initially was a persecutor of the church. So this was not new to him, except now he was on the receiving end of the persecution.
And yet, we get upset when someone makes an issue at our job that we have our Bible on our desk. Or someone makes a joke at you because you are a Christian.
Welcome to my world.
People either proclaim you a god (metaphorically) or would rather you be stoned.
The hero or the goat.
Actually, it doesn’t bother me. I know at some point everyone will need the service of a pastor and God is waiting to open that door for me. (And for you, too…)
And I already know the result every time I present the Gospel.
You got it… Some will believe. Some will want to hear more. Some will sneer.
Every ONE that believes is a win for the Kingdom.
I pray for open doors to preach the Gospel!