Forest Lake Talks

7/19/21 Devotional from Ed

July 19, 2021

Weekly Devotional from Ed Black

Text: Acts 13:44-52 The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; and blaspheming, they contradicted what was spoken by Paul. Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,
'I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles,
so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the word of the Lord; and as many as had been destined for eternal life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread throughout the region. But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their region. So they shook the dust off their feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Devotional: Did you catch the natural human emotion in the reaction from the Jewish elite? Once they saw "the crowds," they became jealous. They then decided to contradict the spoken Word of God to fit a preconceived agenda.

What if we do the opposite? What if we start with the Word of God and then decide to act? Do we let our own judgments, power, time constraints, biases, friendships get in the way when we make decisions? And what if we use Jesus' model of ministering to the margins/outcast as a way to start our decision-making process? What if we look at the potential ministry outcomes before looking at the memo, deadline, calendar, or Excel sheet budget? Would our "light" shine more brightly?

Prayer: Dear God, fill us today with your Spirit, and may we use your Spirit to discern the ways you are calling us to be pure and true disciples this week and beyond. Amen.

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