June 23 Devotions

Today we will look at Acts 13:13-41

13:13 Then Paul and his companions put out to sea from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia, but John left them and returned to Jerusalem.  14Moving on from Perga, they arrived at Pisidian Antioch, and on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down.  15After the reading from the law and the prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent them a message, saying, “Brothers, if you have any message of exhortation for the people, speak it.” 16So Paul stood up, gestured with his hand and said,

“Men of Israel, and you Gentiles who fear God, listen:  17The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and made the people great during their stay as foreigners in the country of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it.  18For a period of about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness.  19After he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave his people their land as an inheritance.  20All this took about four hundred fifty years. After this he gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet.  21Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years.  22After removing him, God raised up David their king. He testified about him: ‘I have found David the son of Jesse to be a man after my heart, who will accomplish everything I want him to do.’ 23From the descendants of this man God brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, just as he promised.  24Before Jesus arrived, John had proclaimed a baptism for repentance to all the people of Israel.  25But while John was completing his mission, he said repeatedly, ‘What do you think I am? I am not he. But look, one is coming after me. I am not worthy to untie the sandals on his feet!’  26Brothers, descendants of Abraham’s family, and those Gentiles among you who fear God, the message of this salvation has been sent to us.  27For the people who live in Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize him, and they fulfilled the sayings of the prophets that are read every Sabbath by condemning him. 28Though they found no basis for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed.  29When they had accomplished everything that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and placed him in a tomb.  30But God raised him from the dead,  31and for many days he appeared to those who had accompanied him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These are now his witnesses to the people.  32And we proclaim to you the good news about the promise to our ancestors,  33that this promise God has fulfilled to us, their children, by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; today I have fathered you.’  34But regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus from the dead, never again to be in a state of decay, God has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and trustworthy promises made to David.’  35Therefore he also says in another psalm, ‘You will not permit your Holy One to experience decay.’ 36For David, after he had served God’s purpose in his own generation, died, was buried with his ancestors, and experienced decay,  37but the one whom God raised up did not experience decay.  38Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through this one forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,  39and by this one everyone who believes is justified from everything from which the law of Moses could not justify you. 40Watch out, then, that what is spoken about by the prophets does not happen to you:

41 ‘Look, you scoffers; be amazed and perish!

For I am doing a work in your days,

a work you would never believe, even if someone tells you.’”

Paul and Barnabas set out on their journey and did the most natural of things.  They went to those who should be receptive to the good news that God has fulfilled his promises.  In fact that was what Jesus wanted them to do, to go first to the house of Israel. 

We are all called to make disciples of every nation.  That is a big and seemingly impossible task.  Where to start?  We start at home and with those we know or have some connection with.  That is the best way to begin. Begin with our families and then with our friends and those we have natural opportunity to talk to, to interact with.  We could get paralysed by the shear size and scope of the work before us. The trick, if there is one, is to do the task that is immediately before us and then move on to the next step and so on until we accomplish what the Lord has set before us.

One step at a time,

Pastor Mac