Spend time in prayer and silence with God, asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.
At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the 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 do miraculous signs and wonders. The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others the apostles. There was a plot afoot among the Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. But they found out about it and fled the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, where they continued to preach the Good News.
– Acts 14:1-7
Everywhere Paul and Barnabas went, there were those that received their message with joy and those that rejected their message with extreme anger. 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,” 1 Cor. 1:18. The Gospel offends those who are perishing, but we should never be offensive with the Gospel. Jesus told His disciples, “You will be hated by everyone because of Me,” Matt. 10:22. Choosing to follow Jesus can be difficult. In some cultures, choosing to testify about Jesus can cost you your life. Therefore, we must fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith!
The Big Question
Do you persevere in the face of persecution or do you shrink back from it? In the history of the early church, many Christians were martyred for their faith in Jesus. In America, this persecution is minor compared to what other believers face around the world. Are you a bold witness for Christ? When is the last time you shared the Good News of Jesus with a friend, family member or co-worker? Who is in your top three?
Conclude your time in prayer and silence, reflecting on what God revealed to you today.