At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders. 4 The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles. 5 There was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. 6 But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, 7 where they continued to preach the gospel.
In these couple of verses we witness a couple of interesting facts. The first is a fruitful result of discipleship (and still ongoing). Barnabas used to disciple Paul, but now Paul is the prominent speaker. Next, both Paul and Barnabas continued to fulfill Matthew 28:18-20 by witnessing to people about the Gospel – their and our purpose. Third, when they succeeded (great number believed), they encountered opposition. Fourth, in their defense to the opposition they continued to be faithful by doing what God called them to do. Fifth, even though they were still faithful, there was division and even plots to kill them. Sixth, yet in this entire time God was with them and provided a way out, because God still had other plans for them (Con).
Thoughts for the day
- Which of these points (if not all) resonate most with you, why?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you an opportunity to rest. Write it down in your diary or phone and spend that time with God.