Thursday, January 3, 2013

Advent Archive: Acts 13

-Alan Obrien
Acts 13 is a long chapter – 52 verses – and a lot happens in here! One of the biggest things to note is that in this chapter Paul’s ministry begins. Up until this point, Acts has primarily focused on Peter. But from here on out the focus of the book will be what God is doing through the converted church-murderer, Paul! That excites me because if God is willing to use “Saul” and turn him into “Paul,” He is capable of doing some pretty amazing stuff with you and me! But what made Paul so great? Notice with me, like in the last devotional I wrote on Acts 7, that as Stephen boldly preached Christ, Paul will now do the same. I want you to notice what happens when the Gospel is preached. The Gospel is a unique tool in the hand of God. Paul told us in Romans 1:16 that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. What Stephen and Paul both knew was that they in and of themselves had no ability to save anyone. They understood that only the preached Gospel could bring people to Christ. So they preached it boldly and unashamedly! When you read through Acts 13, notice the way some believe and some don’t. The ones who don’t believe get very angry and end up blaspheming God (v.45). As for the ones who do listen and believe, they love the Gospel and find an indescribable joy in Christ (v.48, 52)!
Food For Thought: Which one are you? Do you love the Gospel? Has it brought joy into your life yet?