October 24 Paul and Companions Head for Galatia

 
 
 

WOW THE BIG PICTURE

Acts 13:1-43;  Psalms 118:22-26;  Proverbs 21:1

 

Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Bar- nabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

 

So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.

 

Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will younot cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.”

 

And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

 

Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem. But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”

 

Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it. Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness. And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.

 

“After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior-Jesus-after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.’

 

“Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. And we declare to you glad tidings-that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:

 

‘You are My Son,

Today I have begotten You.’

 

And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus:

 

I will give you the sure mercies of David.’

Therefore He also says in another Psalm:

‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’

 

“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:

 

‘Behold, you despisers,

Marvel and perish!

For I work a work in your days,

 

 

A work which you will by no means believe,

Though one were to declare it to you.'”

 

So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devoutproselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

Acts 13:1-43

 

WORSHIP

The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief cornerstone.

This was the LORD’s doing;

It is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day the LORD has made;

We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Save now, I pray, O LORD;

O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!

We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

Psalm 118:22-26

 

WISDOM

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD,

Like the rivers of water;

He turns it wherever He wishes.

Proverbs 21:1

 

Own your own copy of this devotional

 

A Knowledge That Repels – Wholly Loved – October 24

WhollyLoved.com

A Knowledge That Repels

By Jennifer Slattery

“Knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” 1 Cor. 8:1

Pride, rooted in self-love, is at the root of many of my ugliest behaviors.

About ten years ago, I began to ask some hard questions regarding my faith and the credibility of the Bible. I wanted to know—was Jonah really swallowed by a whale? Was there really a worldwide flood? Did Lot’s wife really turn into a pillar of salt?

Those questions led to an in-depth study I soon wanted to share with others. My motives were pure and stemmed from my love for God and the Bible. Initially our time felt special and inspired. Each week, I’d meet with a group of women while volunteers taught our little ones arts and crafts.

Until Sue arrived and quickly turned argumentative. I took her challenge as an invitation and, puffed up with “knowledge,” accepted.

Soon, the pleasant, Christ-centered discussion among a handful of moms turned into a tense battle over words.

My focus shifted off of God, others, and the truth and onto a desire to win the argument. My self-love, my pride, pulled me in when I should’ve walked away, and I allowed the woman to dominate and divert our previously pleasant conversation.

Truth and love, real love, are intertwined.

Scripture tells us God has entrusted us with the gospel. This saving truth has the power to set man free. With each word, we’re either pointing others to our Savior and an eternity with Him, or we’re getting in the way.

May we always be ready to speak truth, but may that truth always be blanketed in love.

Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is a multipublished author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.

Visit WhollyLoved.com for more inspirational messages or to book them for your next women’s event

Happy Are the Unhappy

Thursday, October 24, 2019


For Godly Sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

—2 Corinthians 7:10

Happy people are unhappy people, because Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” In the Beatitudes, the word “blessed” that Jesus used is interchangeable with “happy.”

To put it another way, happy are the unhappy.

“Well, that makes no sense at all,” you’re saying. “Either you’re happy or you’re unhappy.”

No, before you can truly be happy, you first have to be unhappy. You have to see your real state before God, which is a sinful state. And you have to mourn over that state.

Also, the word that Jesus used here for “mourn” is the most severe of nine Greek words for grief that we find in the Scriptures. It’s reserved for mourning the dead. While this verse applies in principle to all who mourn, let’s look at it in context.

Let’s go back to the previous beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3 NKJV). It’s a little scary to see what sinners we really are. But when we cry out to God and mourn over our condition, then we will find comfort.

As commentator Warren Wiersbe has pointed out, “It is as wrong to mourn when God has forgiven us as it is to rejoice when sin has conquered us.”

It’s better to mourn now and laugh later than to laugh now and mourn later. When you really mourn for your condition and repent of it, you can experience the true happiness that God wants you to experience.

Have you ever shed a tear over a sin in your own life? Have you ever done something you were ashamed of and wept over it?

The Bible tells us that godly sorrow will produce repentance (see 2 Corinthians 7:10). This can be a good thing, because that mourning can produce tangible results.