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Acts 14 - Given over to God's Grace

The gospel is not an offer to improve your lifestyle, it's a command often resulting in hardship.


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Acts 14 Summary


Paul & Barnabas make a habit of attending Sabbath worship at the local synagogues in the cities that they visit and are often invited to speak. Their preaching of the gospel has an effect on all who hear it: a great number of both Jews & Greeks believed (v1), but at the same time it stirs others to anger and intolerance.


When Paul heals a crippled man, the locals conclude that he and Barnabas are Greek gods, and worship them accordingly. But it's not long until the same bandwagon that's falling down at his feet are stoning him and leaving him for dead.


Yet by God's strength Paul survives, and undaunted, continues to preach the gospel as they travel.


On their way back, they stop at all of the new churches and put elders in place to shepherd the new congregations.



Dig Deeper


In our society, we treasure the freedom people have to form their own opinions and beliefs. Certainly this is good governance and something to be thankful for.


The down side to this culture is that core beliefs about who God is and who we are begin to have the same value as opinions about who makes the best French fries: There is no right or wrong belief.


That's not how God sees it.


Verse 2 can be literally translated as follows:

Those who disobey God by refusing to believe the gospel...

God's Word is not an opinion you can take or leave depending on how it jives with the current season you're in or lifestyle you're pursuing. It's not a enhancement to improve your quality of life as long as it works for you.


Quite the opposite, it's a standard of truth that you must conform every aspect of your life to.


Verse 23 describes what it really means to believe the gospel. Your life is not your own, rather, it

has been committed (handed over) to the grace of God.


AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father God, who has made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them (v15).

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will strengthen you to endure hardship and to live with a focus on entering His kingdom (v22).

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

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