Daily Devotional Monday 20th April 2020

by William Moody

Acts 13:4–12

Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus

So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

(ESV)

Saul, Barnabas and John Mark travel to Cyprus and share the Gospel at the synagogues and throughout the island (v4-6). They share the gospel with Sergius Paulus who would have been the Roman governor over the island (v7). But they face opposition from the sorcerer Bar-Jesus (v8).

In the battle for souls there is a time for gentleness but also there are times for total directness (v9-11). The Bible is very strong against those who hinder others in their spiritual walk (see Luke 17 v1-2). They are doing the work of the devil and are standing on very dangerous ground.

It is important to remember that there will be a concerted attempt by the forces of evil to hinder people accepting the Gospel and we must pray against this earnestly. Pray for those close to you who are still held in darkness by Satan to have their eyes opened and be set free in Christ.

In Cyprus the proconsul came to believe when he saw the power of God (v12). Let us rejoice as we share the Gospel that greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world (1 John 4 v4).

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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