"But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit."
Reflection: Paul and Barnabas had just presented the Gospel to a very large crowd which was described as being a large portion of the people from the city. They had been presented with an opportunity to share with a large number of people who had gathered together. In the midst of the process, their audience had become influenced by other people who incited them to oppose the message of the Gospel. Rather than having responded in discouragement and disappointment, Paul and Barnabas had taken the higher road of joy and filling of the Holy Spirit. It says, "they shook off the dust from their feet against them..." and the disciples "were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit."
Application: When you are opposed or persecuted for presenting the Gospel in evangelism, seek to recall how Paul and Barnabas responded and move on with "joy" as they had done. Remember, evangelism will involve a mixture that includes opposition, so remain steadfast and persevere.
The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ac 13:51–52.
"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word."
Reflection: The word which Peter shared was the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of His Spirit worked through the preached word. Peter was faithful to share the Gospel with those he encountered and God's power was manifest through the spoken word he delivered. It says here "the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word."
What an amazing work that only God can do and it is by His power and His might, not by ours.
Application: Have you prayed and asked God's Spirit to fall on "those who" hear the Gospel? Ask Him to do just that and go out and share the message of the Gospel with those you come in contact with and let the power of the Holy Spirit work through the usage of His word. Be diligent to share Scripture and the message of the Gospel and leave the results to God.
The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ac 10:44.
“And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. ”
Reflection: When Stephen was speaking to the people, some of the people who were from the "Synagogue" began "disputing with Stephen." When proclaiming the Gospel, there will be opposition and this may entail various conflicts of thought due to different beliefs. The very next verse describes how those who heard "were not able to resist." The Holy Spirit will entlighten and bring truth to the heart and mind.
Application: Knowing the power of the Holy Spirit to bring "wisdom" that can change hearts, are you leading others to the knowledge of the truth through sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ? The Gospel is the mighty power of God unto salvation. Ask God to give you the ability to speak the wisdom to the hearers and for God to change the hearts of those who will hear it.
The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ac 6:10.
"And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, 'He is the Son of God.'"
Reflection: Shortly after the Apostle Paul was converted on the Damascus Road in Acts 9, he was out proclaiming the truth of the Gospel. While we do need to "be diligent to present ourselves approved, rightly dividing the word of truth" through study, we need not think it limits our ability to proclaim the truth we already possess and that being that Jesus Christ "is the Son of God." Evangelism training can be very beneficial, but it need not be a hindrance to proclaiming the truth you already possess.
Application: If you won a big giveaway or found something you so desperately had lost, would you tell others about it? Meditate on the amazing and priceless gift of payment by Jesus Christ for your sins and go and proclaim the truth to a dying world today, while you still have breath.
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ac 9:20; 2 Tim 2:15.
"So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus."
Reflection: Peter and John were "unlearned" men who were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began preaching the word of God and when that happens in a public space, be on the ready for opposition. Given the fact that a miracle had just been done through them, the "council" within the city were now trying to figure what to do with them. They decided to tell them to stop preaching in the name of "Jesus."
Application: If you are out talking to people and sharing the Gospel, you can expect to receive opposition. Persecution and rejection are going to occur. If the early Christian disciples faced it, you will too. The disciples responded with, "For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard..." Let this motivate you to do the same and to strive to persevere when faced with opposition.
The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ac 4:18, 20
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