5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. 6 But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized. 9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
Going next door is fairly common in communities all over the world. Here Paul is not received well in the Synagogue, so he literally goes next door and plants a church in the house and the synagogue leader and family joins in!
Even in rejection God makes a way. All too often we can carry the scars of rejection rather than use rejection as an opportunity that God will bring about in His redemptive wisdom. A long time ago a thought popped into my head that over the years I have come to be certain was from God. It was this “I ‘take’ offence.” Without doubt people have been deliberately offensive to me – I have had people spit on me for the sake of the Gospel, punch and kick me for the sake of the Gospel, plus any number of lies and slander over the years – yes I have been rejected, but really people were rejecting Jesus not me – I am only a messenger. I have learned rather than ‘taking’ this offence to heart to ask God to show me how He would redeem the situation – and often it was in the moment. Immediately after being spat on, punched and kicked others at the evangelistic meeting (where we as Christians did not retaliate) rose up (not believers I might add) and quieted the crowd and after the message was preached many came to Jesus. I would have missed the Lord at work if I had ‘taken’ the rejection, the offence to heart. Here Paul could have done the same.
Father, help us to not ‘take’ offence, rather may we look to You for Your redemptive purposes, even when we feel rejected. Help us to hear – both sides of the story – that You would prevail!
Written by Ps. Richard Botta