When the Gentiles heard [that the Good News of Jesus would come to them], they were very glad and thanked the Lord for his message; and all who were chosen for eternal life became believers. So the Lord's message spread throughout that region.
Then the Jews stirred up the influential religious women and the leaders of the city, and they incited a mob against Paul and Barnabas and ran them out of town. So they shook the dust from their feet as a sign of rejection and went to the town of Iconium. And the believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
— Acts 13:48-52 NLT
Every time I read summary statements in the book of Acts like our verses today, the Holy Spirit convicts me of my lack of joy for my salvation. Paul and Barnabas fulfilled their calling — they shared Jesus with passion, love, and urgency in the synagogue. When many of the Jewish people rejected their message, they reached out to Gentiles. Some of these Gentiles joyously became followers of Jesus. Despite Paul and Barnabas' adversaries running them out of town, these new believers continued their new life of faith with joy. They celebrated the presence of the Holy Spirit within them. Joy comes from knowing Jesus and from having the Holy Spirit. Opposition and rejection shouldn't rob us of that joy. It surely didn't rob these early believers of theirs!
O dear Father, thank you for the everlasting joy I have from being Jesus' disciple and your child and from the presence of the Holy Spirit. Stir my thankfulness and help me learn to rejoice in being yours, knowing Jesus, and experiencing your presence through the Holy Spirit. I want my joy to be real, not forced or hypocritical. I want my joy in Jesus to spill through all I do and say. Awaken my heart to all the blessings you have given me in the Lord Jesus. I pray this prayer in his name. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Philippians 4:4-7
- Acts 1:8, 2:4, 38, 4:8, 31, 9:17, 13:9, 52
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Sunday, July 30, 2023
About This Devotional
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.