Daily Devotional Sunday 26th April 2020by William Moody
Paul and Barnabas at Iconium
14:1 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.1 3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. 5 When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, 6 they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, 7 and there they continued to preach the gospel.
Or brothers and sisters
In the city of Iconium Paul and Barnabas’ ministry begins encouragingly with a great number of Jews and Gentiles believing (v1). Where God is at work the devil also will be busy and he causes the unbelieving Jews to poison the minds of others against the Gospel (v2).
The devil works through deceit and he continues to use his lies to poison people’s minds against the Gospel. The only answer is the sharing of God’s truth backed up by lives of holiness and prayer.
The level of opposition caused Paul and Barnabas to stay longer (v3). They didn’t run at the first sign of trouble but rather endured it as they still saw an opportunity to be useful.
The Gospel in Iconium caused division (v4) and it will continue to do so today. We don’t look to create division, but division will be unavoidable between the saved and unsaved. We must be ready for this and not shocked.
The opposition took a deeper and more sinister twist, so Paul and Barnabas now knew it was time for them to leave as there was no possibility of fruitful ministry in staying (v5-6). In sharing the Gospel we need great wisdom to know when to push on even in the face of opposition and when to step back.
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