Waiting, Yet Prepared
Heavenly Father, the ears of my spirit are open to listen to You now. Speak through Your Word, I pray.
Read Acts 13:13-25
 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.  From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down.  After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”  Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!  The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country;  for about forty years he endured their conduct in the wilderness;  and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan, giving their land to his people as their inheritance.  All this took about 450 years. “After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet.  Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years.  After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’  “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.  Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.  As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’ Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is the point of this "history lesson"?
Paul and his companions are on what is known as the first missionary journey. John Mark has left for reasons unstated (we will explore this more next week). It’s the Sabbath, so they head for the synagogue for “his [Luke’s] first full summary of one of Paul’s sermons” (John Stott, The Message of Acts). Like Stephen before him (in Acts 7), Paul reminds his fellow Jews and the Gentiles present of God’s plan throughout history and his faithfulness to his promises. He starts with what they knew and, as he speaks, he takes them to where they are uncomfortable as he courageously introduces Jesus. Paul is on a missionary journey so we might expect an urgency to share that would lead him to talk regardless of whether anyone asks him to. Yet Paul waits until he is asked to bring a word of encouragement (15); when he is asked, he is ready. Do you expect God to give you opportunities like this, and if he does, are you ready and willing to speak?
What opportunities might God give you to share about the Lord Jesus? Are you ready for them?
Ask God to remove fear and give you ears to hear the invitations to talk more about him.
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