Friday 28 December, 2012

Acts 17:1-9

17 Paul and Silas passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia. They came to Thessalonica. A Jewish synagogue was there. 2 Paul went into the synagogue as he usually did. For three Sabbath days in a row he talked about the Scriptures with the Jews. 3 He explained and proved that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am telling you about is the Christ!” he said. 4 His words won some of the Jews over. They joined Paul and Silas. A large number of Greeks who worshiped God joined them too. So did quite a few important women. 5 But the Jews were jealous. So they rounded up some evil fellows from the market place. Forming a crowd, they started all kinds of trouble in the city. The Jews rushed to Jason’s house. They were looking for Paul and Silas. They wanted to bring them out to the crowd. 6 But they couldn’t find them. So they dragged Jason and some other believers to the city officials. “These men have caused trouble all over the world,” they shouted. “Now they have come here. 7 Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all disobeying Caesar’s commands. They say there is another king. He is called Jesus.” 8 When the crowd and the city officials heard this, they became very upset. 9 They made Jason and the others give them money. They wanted to make sure they would return to the court. Then they let them go.

Have you ever heard the gospel preached in a way that sounds like “just put your faith in Jesus, and your life will be easy”? I sometimes wonder if that is how I have been taking it to myself when I find myself exasperated and calling out to God: “Why is this life so hard sometimes!”

While God gives us the power and peace of

the Holy Spirit and an incredible gift of forgiveness and redemption that allows us to live out of a position of grace, God also calls us to do hard stuff. Sometimes ‘cos it’s important, sometimes ‘cos it’s good for us’ and other times, it’s more of a mystery.  In any case, I can take great encouragement from the examples in the scriptures such as this one!

God, please increase my faith.

Written by Justin Ware

1 (reply)
  1. Dina Reed says:

    It always amazes me how God’s word brings out emotion that are translated into anger and frustration. However when we realize that God’s word reveal the state of our heart, it isn’t surprising that when we do not want to face it, the easiest response is anger and blaming others. When the Jews could not find Paul and Silas, they blamed the closest person, Jason. It is easier to blame others or circumstances than open our eyes to our weaknesses.
    Lord I pray that you open my eyes to my sins and weaknesses, and help me not to blame others, and thank you Lord that Jesus died so that I can overcome them.

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