Today: Psalms 76; Acts 13:42-52; Acts 14:1-7; 1 Kings 7:23-51; 1 Kings 8:1-21
“So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.” Acts 13:42
Paul and Barnabas always delivered their gospel of Jesus to the Jews first in every town they visited. Many of the Jews had no use for their message. But in Antioch, the Gentiles (non-Jews) BEGGED to hear it. They BEGGED!! Have you ever begged to hear the message of Jesus? The Gentiles were so hungry to hear the truth of Jesus! “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.” (v.44) WOW… almost the WHOLE CITY!
“But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.” (v.45) Cancel culture strikes again! The jealous, control-freak, SJW Pharisees were at it again. Paul and Barnabus were proclaiming ideas they didn’t like and people were actually LISTENING to them. The Pharisaical Jews did everything in their power to cancel the gospel message. Today, Paul and Barnabas would get shadowbanned on Twitter, canceled on YouTube, mocked on TikTok, and thrown in Facebook jail.
But Paul and Barnabas weren’t dissuaded by the persecution. They “shook the dust from their feet against them” and moved on to the next town. And they were “filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” (v.51-52) May we follow their example!
1 Kings 8
There are many parallels between our Old Testament and New Testament readings today. In 1 Kings 8, the temple was finished and King Solomon placed the Ark of the Covenant into the inner sanctuary. After almost 500 years since the Israelites followed Moses out of Egypt, God’s Holy presence was finally inhabiting the beautiful “exalted” temple in Jerusalem, “and the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.” (v.11)
In Acts we read how the Holy Spirit was introduced to town after town. As people accepted the gospel message of Christ and were filled with the Holy Spirit, the presence of God was moving into His new temple, within the hearts of His believers. Today, WE are His exalted temple.