“41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
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.
51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.
52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost,” Acts 13:41-52 (KJV).
Beloved, just like in the days of Paul, there were people who wanted to hear the gospel, who wanted hope, and were willing to receive, AND, there were also those who would not listen or believe. They stood against everything good that God had for them and persecuted those who brought the truth.
In v.42 of the scripture above it says “the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them.” ESSENTIALLY THEY WERE SAYING, HEY GUYS, THEY MAY NOT WANT TO HEAR, BUT WE DO. COME ON OVER HERE AND WE WILL LISTEN TO WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY. I can just hear the excitement in their voices. How encouraged Paul and Barnabas must have been, and that next Sabbath day, v.44 says, almost the whole city came to hear.
Then, when persecution came, the Lord gave them boldness to respond to their outcry………..YOU DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN, IN FACT BECAUSE YOU HAVE MADE IT CLEAR YOU DON’T WANT WHAT WE HAVE, WE WILL GO TO THOSE WHO DO……FOR I HAVE COME TO SHARE THIS SALVATION TO THE GENTILES, AS MANY AS WILL RECEIVE…….
Some today think we as Christians just want to cram the bible and Jesus down everyone’s throat. Aren’t you glad the Lord gives us a choice, to believe or not. It’s really a profound thing……….. this choice……. and he gives this choice TO ALL OF US. It’s a life decision, and through receiving Him we give Him permission to come in and change our lives, so he can live and perform His purpose on this earth, and we in turn are fulfilled…..
WE ARE PARTNERS, PARTICIPANTS, NOT JUST BYSTANDERS, WITH THE KING OF KINGS, and LORD OF LORD’S……… THE VERY ONE WHO CREATED US. AND THIS PURPOSE IS GREATER THAN OURSELVES………… AND THROUGH PARTICIPATION, COMES FULLNESS OF JOY, and that joy is contagious.
In obedience Paul and Barnabas experienced great joy in partnering with the Holy Spirit, and as the Gentiles tasted of the good word of God, they also were filled with joy and hope, lives were changed and the word spread, despite opposition. That’s the power of the gospel unto salvation.
I believe God is right now preparing men, women, and children to be like Paul and Barnabas. They went everywhere preaching the word of God, with signs following. UNAFRAID. As the persecution comes our way, we also will wax bold full of the Holy Spirit, going from place to place shaking the dust off our feet if we are not received. We will experience the joy of rising higher with Jesus, really seeing the obstacles become minute in the light of His power.
The other day I was riding in the car with Ken, talking about this passage, and I had a vision of a pregnant woman’s stomach, and the baby inside was pressing a foot on the inside wall of her abdoman. Then I saw a fist come out on another side and then a fist with an arm extended. It looked as though they would come through the skin……wow, that baby sure is ready to get out of that confined space…..THAT’S US I THOUGHT, THE LORD IS GETTING US READY, GETTING US IN POSITION FOR THE BIRTHING OF THE MANIFEST SONS OF GOD….. GET READY TO COME FORTH IN POWER, WAXING BOLD FOR JESUS………. WILL YOU BE IN THE NUMBER WHO WILL RISE FOR HIM AND DO EXPLOITS?
Beloved He is all we need, Praise the Lord….. I have shared as I have heard…. may the Lord open eyes, ears, and hearts for change.
~ Celeste Dewey