Saturday, April 28, 2012

Acts 13:40-43

Summary retelling of Acts 13:40-43

Having spoken about Jesus Christ, Paul then goes into a warning.  He warns the people listening that if they scoff at the message they might just find themselves sitting outside of God’s will.  As the time for Bible study ended, people wanted Paul and Barnabas to come back and teach the following week.  Many who had heard Paul and Barnabas speak began to listen and to follow this teaching about Jesus and life.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Paul knows that he is talking to Jews in Psidian Antioch.  He knows that the really traditional Jews are quite likely going to refute what he and Barnabas have come to say.  So he gives a warning.  In doing so, he quotes Habakkuk 1:5.  This is a warning primarily to the “leaders” and the “people who have all the answers.”  When we have all the answers and we think we have God’s plan figured out, we are likely to miss the “new thing” that God is always attempting to do in our midst.  While it is important to learn and grow in our relationship with God, we must not become rigid an inflexible in our application.

Why do you think that the natural tendency is to become rigid as understanding increases?

Second Thought:
Paul’s warning is pretty serious.  He is telling people that they might find themselves outside God’s will and looking in.  But this message is not really just from Paul, it is a message from all the prophets.  Habakkuk is the quote that Paul uses, but this kind of warning is prominent in Isaiah and Jeremiah as well.  It is prominent in many of the other Minor Prophets.  The reality is that this is a serious problem among religious people – among God’s people.  Whenever we think we know what God is up to and we put Him in our box we are quite likely to find ourselves on the outside looking in.

Does it scare you to think that a day might come where you are like the learned Jews and find yourself outside God’s will and looking in – even though you may have tried to be faithful your whole life?  How can we approach faith in such a way as to make sure that we are never in this position?

Third Thought:
Many people follow Paul and Barnabas.  Many people want to hear about grace, mercy, and God’s salvation through Jesus Christ.  These people invited Paul and Barnabas to say more.  The true disciple willingly places themselves in positions where they can learn more.

How good are you at inviting the people of faith into your life?  How good are you at listening and absorbing what they have to say – and occasionally asking questions to help you apply what you are learning to your life?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 13:44-47
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