7-7-14: Keep At It
After Jesus’ resurrection, the apostles had a rough go of it as they traveled the known world preaching the Gospel. An example of one of those hard times happened when Paul and Barnabas got to Iconium. Acts 14:1-3 reports, “Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (NKJ).
The surprising phrase in this passage is “therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly.” What? Even though people’s minds were being “poisoned” against the apostles’ message, Paul and Barnabas stayed a long time, continuing to contend for the faith.
Do we keep at it when we find ourselves in day-to-day conversations about the reality of our God, the truth of the Word, and the importance of belief in Jesus? Or do we get frustrated, wave folks away with the back of our hand, and use as an excuse for our giving up that we are not going to “cast [our] pearls before swine”?
In the first place, let’s stop misusing Scripture. “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine” as Jesus says Matthew 7:6, must not be referring to witnessing. We are supposed to consistently spread the Gospel to everyone who doesn’t know Him already. We cannot give up on people who need to know the truth. We cannot allow ourselves to get frustrated because folks disagree, react negatively, treat our message disrespectfully, or even try to stir others up against us.
The encouragement for Barnabas and Paul to keep at it is mentioned at the end of the Acts 14 passage quoted above. “…the Lord… was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands” Acts 14:3b. This incentive proves to us that God will have our backs too as we contend with others for the faith. God will bear witness to His own Word, and is still able to grant signs and wonders by our hands to validate His Word. Worship God today for being the energizer of our witnessing efforts.
©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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