Passage: Acts 14
v1-7 - Paul & Barnabas stop in a city named Iconium and continue their habit of proclaiming the good news in synagogues, and their effective preaching persuades a great number of people. But Luke points out there are some who 'refuse (v2)' to believe, and they begin to 'poison the minds' of people against Paul & Barnabas. Eventually, the city is divided, and Paul & Barnabas are forced to flee the city.
v8-18 - After Paul heals a crippled man, the people of Lystra think that Paul & Barnabas are incarnations of the Greek gods Zeus & Hermes, so Paul stands up to correct them.
v19-20 - The rabble rousers from Iconium show up and "win the crowd over (v19)," demonstrating once again how fickle crowds are. Paul goes from being thought of as a greek god to being stoned and left for dead. By God's grace, he's not dead, and he ends up going back into the city. Would you go back?
v21-28 - After winning new disciples in Derbe, Paul and Barnabas went back and visited the new churches that they had recently established along the way. They appointed elders in each one. What an impossible task for those new elders! No real precedent or instructions for how to lead & disciple a church, no New Testament yet to guide their doctrine, and only occasional visits from Paul. And Paul's words to them are not exactly comforting:
We must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God (v22).
Old Testament References - Add even more value to your daily Bible reading by reading a related passage from the Old Testament
Psalm 146 is a short psalm reminding us to put our trust in the Sovereign God who made all things.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions. For every comment or reply you post, you will receive an entry for this month's prize.
Describe some of the ways you see God's sovereignty (control over all things) in this chapter.
We looked at the tough task these newly formed elders and churches faced. Why do you think it is that these churches were able to prosper despite not having those advantages?
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Your Father God, who made the heavens and earth and the sea and everything in them (v15)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to strengthen you to endure the many hardships required to enter the Kingdom of God (v22)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: