This is the day that the Lord has made...

This is the day that the Lord has made...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Fresh Start

So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium.  And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.   Acts 13: 51-52

Paul and Barnabas had been traveling throughout the region of Cyprus and Antioch, home to both Jews and Gentiles, spreading the good news of Jesus and the forgiveness of sins when the Jews turned on them and kicked them out.  While there, they preached to large crowds and brought many people to eternal life which enraged the Jews.  Paul and Barnabas were fulfilling their mission. So what did the Jews do?  They didn't call up the army or bring in armed guards to run Paul and Barnabas out of town. No, instead, they went after the men of influence and the women of faith.  They knew that this specific group of influential people could stir up enough dissent to force the disciples to leave.

I find it amazing how true this is in life.  A man or woman on a mission has a message and the power to change the world, yet, smaller minded, self-focusing individuals that may not have the knowledge to understand the message or worse yet, are intimidated by the message, set out to derail the purposeful actions of the one following God's calling in their life.  What better way to defeat someone than through the court of public opinion.

Yet, look at Paul and Barnabas and their reaction to these events.  No fight, no resistance.  They simply shook the dust from their sandals and took their mission and message elsewhere.  And how did they go?  Filled with joy and Holy Spirit!  What a lesson for us to learn regarding being stopped, or better yet, interrupted, while on our mission.  They didn't give up, nor did they give in to the pressures of those persecuting them. 

How many of us have been stifled when following God's calling in our life?  How many times have obstacles been put in our path to try and stop us?  Paul and Barnabas show us what it means to walk by faith in this scripture.  Get up.  Get going.  Move on.  Sometimes a fresh start is exactly what it is needed to see the blessings of the Holy Spirit in our life.  And, most importantly, do it with JOY!

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