Monday, February 6, 2017

Turning Point

(Repost from 7/1/12)
Today’s Bible Reading:  Leviticus 1-3, Acts 13
Topic: God’s Sovereignty

SCRIPTURE:  Acts 13:42-46

42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. (Acts 12:5 NKJV)


I love these moments that signal an historical shift—a seminal moment recorded in time that ushers in a momentous change in history that actually affects who and where I am as well as millions of other people through the ages since.  Verse 46 signals the beginning of the shift of the Apostle Paul’s ministry from the Jews to the Gentiles.  In verse 42 we see that non-Jewish people (Gentiles) were being drawn to the gospel message of Christ.  In verse 43, we see Paul and Barnabas are still primarily focused on persuading Jewish people that Jesus was and is their Messiah.  Verses 44 & 45 record a very sad event, certainly prompted by the forces of darkness.  The evil spirit of envy rears its ugly head among some of the Jews so susceptible to its influence.  But, as so often occurs, what Satan intends for evil, God turns around for good.  Verse 45 is the catalyst Sovereign God uses to guide Paul and Barnabas in a new direction He had already ordained.  Who knows where many a Gentile like me would be today if Paul and Barnabas had not been guided to the decision to say, “behold, we turn to the Gentiles” (v. 46).


Every time evil seems to win we would do well to look for and be open to the good that God may raise up as a result.  Every time evil strikes a hard blow against a believer, may he or she or they be reminded to hope rather than be swallowed by despair.  Through every strike of the enemy may we trust that our Sovereign God is still in control.    


Lord, fill my heart and soul with unshakable trust in You and Your goodness over and above any and every situation.
In the name of Jesus the Messiah I pray.  Amen.  -AP

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