Thursday, May 10, 2012

Acts 15:28-35


Summary retelling of Acts 15:28-35

The instructions in the letter are what we spoke of a few days ago: abstain from the things of idols, abstain from blood and things strangled, and abstain from sexual immorality.  When the congregation received the letter in Antioch they rejoiced because of the support that the letter brought.  Judas and Silas – who were unfamiliar with the congregation but prophets nonetheless – encouraged the church in Antioch with their words.  Judas and Silas eventually leave Antioch, but Paul and Barnabas stay for a longer time while continuing to preach.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
The people in Antioch rejoice when they receive the letter.  It feels good to know that there are brothers and sisters in Christ who are supporting us and who are in agreement with what we are doing.  Hearing the support from the Jerusalem council causes the people in Antioch to celebrate.

Why is it good to recognize, receive, and feel support from one another? 

Second Thought:
Judas and Silas are called prophets.  Look at what it is that Judas and Silas do while they are in Antioch.  They bring God’s Word to the people.  They preach – encouraging growth in the faith of the people.  They aren’t a “prophet” as we typically think about – someone who predicts the future.  In the Bible, a prophet is a person who brings God’s Word to the people around them.

Why is it important to see that a prophet is not a person who predicts the future (that person is most commonly called a seer in the Bible)?  Does it change you perception of the prophets of the Old Testament to think that a prophet is simply someone who brings God’s Word to the people around them?

Third Thought:
Paul and Barnabas continue to preach and teach while they are in Antioch.  It might have been easy for them to say that their work was done and that they were ready for a vacation.  But they didn’t.  Even after returning from the mission field and going to Jerusalem to defend their work they continue to preach and teach.  There are always more people who need to hear from God.

Do Paul and Barnabas inspire you with their devotion to spreading God’s Word?  How can you take that devotion and apply it to your life?  What will it take from you to have people looking at you in 30 years and being amazed at your devotion to proclaiming God to the world?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 15:36-41
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