Sunday, July 23, 2023
Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem. But Paul and Barnabas traveled inland to Antioch of Pisidia.
On the Sabbath they went to the synagogue for the services. After the usual readings from the books of Moses and the prophets, those in charge of the service sent them this message: "Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, come and give it."
So Paul stood, lifted his hand to quiet them, and started speaking. "Men of Israel," he said, "and you God-fearing Gentiles, listen to me."
Paul believed that God wanted him to offer the Jewish people the first opportunity to accept the Good News of Jesus.* This missionary strategy was based not only on a theological principle but also on the opportunities that the synagogue services provided Paul, a rabbi from Gamaliel's school. Paul could speak after "the usual readings from the books of Moses and the prophets" were completed, and he used those readings to open the hearts of people to Jesus, the fulfillment of those Scriptures. Throughout the book of Acts, Jesus' missionaries used both theological conviction and communications strategy to lead people to Jesus!
* See the Related Scripture Readings below for more on the principles used to share Jesus.
Almighty God, I ask that you open the doors of people's hearts to Jesus. Please help me know the best ways to approach the people around me biblically and strategically. I do not want anything I do or say to interfere with others coming to know Jesus. Please give me wisdom and courage to share the message of Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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