Unstoppable! 'Stoned and Left for Dead' — Acts 14:19-20

Thursday, August 4, 2022

ToGather: Our Father's Grace Becomes Our Mission

Few truths are more important to us than Jesus' promise to intercede for us.

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Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead. But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

— Acts 14:19-20 NLT

Key Thought

The simple, matter-of-fact way that Luke told this story leaves me humbled and full of questions. I am humbled by the faith, courage, and perseverance of these early missionaries, especially the apostle Paul. He was stoned and left for dead. After the stoning, fellow believers gathered around what appeared to be his lifeless body, yet he got up and went back to town. Amazing! Paul's toughness, faithfulness, and commitment to his mission are astounding. How injured was Paul? Did Luke intend for us to see Paul's getting up after being stoned by the crowd as a miracle? Paul will use this event as a call to courage in a few verses (Acts 14:27), but how did the people react? Were they strengthened by this event? There is so much that Luke doesn't tell us. I can't help but feel that he, and the Holy Spirit who inspired him, wanted us to be encouraged and strengthened by Paul's example, similar to the examples of the great heroes of faith.*

* See the Related Scripture Readings for more on Paul's persecutions and for the great heroes of faith in Hebrews.

Today's Prayer

O Father, I invite the Holy Spirit into my heart to strengthen my will to persevere in trials, amp up my courage to proclaim Jesus regardless of opposition, and steel my resolve to fulfill your mission for my life. Thank you for Paul's example. I want to be able to stand in the face of trouble as he did. In Jesus' name, I ask for this grace. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 2 Corinthians 6:1-10, 11:22-33
  • Hebrews 11:1-12:3

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 14:19-20 NLT — Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead. But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

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.