Pastors BLOG
June 28, 2018, 9:29 AM

The Adventure Begins 46: Lessons From the Early Church - Acts 14:1-28



Acts 14:1-3 (NRSV)
1 The same thing occurred in Iconium, where Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers.
2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who testified to the word of his grace by granting signs and wonders to be done through them.

When you set out to accomplish the mission that God has called you to, He will show up powerfully and will validate your efforts with His power and His presence.

Jesus modeled this validation for us in His words…

John 5:36 (NRSV)
36 But I have a testimony greater than John's. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.

John 10:37 (NRSV)
37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me.

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Acts 14:4-10 (NRSV)
4 But the residents of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.
5 And when an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them,
6 the apostles learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country;
7 and there they continued proclaiming the good news.
8 In Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet and had never walked, for he had been crippled from birth.
9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. And Paul, looking at him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed,
10 said in a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And the man sprang up and began to walk.

 

You need to ask regularly, “God what do you want to do?

Paul acted upon the prompting of the Holy Spirit through a word of Wisdom. Again Jesus models this through His instructions to us on the matter…

John 5:19 (NRSV)
19 Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.

 

John 5:30 (NRSV)
30 "I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

 

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Acts 14:11-18 (NRSV)
11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!"
12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.
13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates; he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice.
14 When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,
15 "Friends, why are you doing this? We are mortals just like you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.
16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to follow their own ways;
17 yet he has not left himself without a witness in doing good--giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filling you with food and your hearts with joy."
18 Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.

 

When God validates your ministry with His power it is to point people to Him not to get them to follow you.

Signs should lead somewhere. You don’t just stop at the sign. No one sets out on a road trip to Disneyworld and is satisfied to stop at the first billboard that they come to on the highway. No they follow the sign until they have reached the destination for which the sign is pointing.

God’s power – His signs and wonders should always point people to Jesus.

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Acts 14:19-28 (NRSV)
19 But Jews came there from Antioch and Iconium and won over the crowds. Then they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.
20 But when the disciples surrounded him, he got up and went into the city. The next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.
21 After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, then on to Iconium and Antioch.
22 There they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, "It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God."
23 And after they had appointed elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.
24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia.
25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
26 From there they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had completed.
27 When they arrived, they called the church together and related all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith for the Gentiles.
28 And they stayed there with the disciples for some time.

 

God’s power in the collective and unified worship of the Body of Christ will heal you, restore you and refresh you.

Paul and Barnabas were refreshed and supported by their brothers and sisters in the Lord who interceded on their behalf and they engaged in seasons of great labor along with seasons of refreshing among the body. There is a lesson in that. We need each other, and we need to avail ourselves and take advantage of the others in service to one another for all seasons of our journey.

By Pastor Carl Friedel

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