#carmelprays – Acts 18:1-17
Opening Song: Way Maker
Read Scripture: Acts 18:1-17
The Book of Acts reported that while preaching in Athens, Paul has been facing resistance to the gospel (Acts 17:32) while others brush him off as one who preaches about foreign deities (Acts 17:18). Although Paul seems to face opposition when he preaches the gospel of Christ, he continues to do so faithfully among the Jews and Gentiles (Acts 18:4). Expectedly, he faced opposition once again when the Jews opposed and became abusive towards him (v5). Paul’s shaking out his clothes was a testimony against someone who rejected Jesus’ disciples and the message of Christ (Mk 6:11). Jews performed this kind of action against Gentiles who rejected the gospel, and they were no better than the Gentiles, cut off from the true people of God. Paul had preached faithfully to them, and they are responsible for their actions. At the same time, we saw that several people believed in the gospel and were baptized (v7-8) as Paul preached to the Gentiles, including Titius Justus. Paul would have been afraid to stay much longer, but God gave him the vision to stay and preach the gospel, and he did for 1.5 years. God did protect his life during his mission there, but it was not uneventful. The Jews continued to launch attacks against Paul, wanting Gallio to persecute Paul. God’s sovereign hand continues to protect Paul as Gallio paid no attention to the Jew’s demands.
Many of us would have faced opposition to the gospel message we bring to our friends and relatives. Perhaps we are quick to withdraw to our comfort zone, preferring not to be ridiculed by our friends and relatives. Or maybe we don’t want to be labeled as hyper-religious. Yet, as Christians, we are called to be in the world, to be salt and light of this world. We know that it is only through Christ that we will have eternal life, and eternal death is the other path which we do not hope to see our loved ones taking. Despite knowing the imminent danger of preaching about Christ, Paul’s courage shows how we should go prayerfully yet boldly share the message of Christ. Why not ask someone to watch the live worship service online together? Pray and share!
Pray in Response
Lord, thank You that You are a living God who leads and cares deeply for Your people. To the apostle Paul, You gave him a word for the season (Acts 18:9) – assuring him of Your presence and protection with him. Because of that, he does not need to be afraid, and can keep on preaching your word, despite hostile opposition.
Lord, we desire such an intimacy with You today. We desire to grow in knowing Your voice and responding in faith and obedience each time You speak. We know that You will lead us as Your people in our daily situations we face in school, at work or at home. So help us to fix our eyes and ears on You – to let Your living word penetrate into our hearts and minds every day. Our hearts are open to You – speak into the issues and questions we are wrestling with, and may we respond with bold faith and obedience having heard from You. Amen.
Response Song: God Will Make A Way
By Ee Pin Koon