Jesus' Footprints

Posts Tagged ‘Kish

Acts 13:13-52

900165955_466ceaa8d7_mAt bedtime, I read to my son the scriptures where Paul and Barnabas visited the synagogue in Antioch and after the reading from the Law and the Prophets,  the rulers of the synagogue asked them if they had any words of encouragement for the people.  What struck me is when Paul stood up, he used this opportunity to preach about Jesus.

He didn’t start off talking about Jesus.  Instead, he gave a brief summary of Israel’s history beginning with when the Israelites were in the wilderness for forty years.  He spoke about how the Jewish people were ruled by judges until the prophet Samuel and how they wanted to be like the other nations who had kings ruling over them.  They wanted a king too even though God was their King.  They got their wish when Saul, the son of Kish was chosen to be their king.  However, God removed him because of his disobedience and chose David to be his successor.  Then, Paul introduced Jesus, saying,  “From this man’s descendants God has raised a Savior for Israel, Jesus, according to His promise.”

He spoke of the role the people had played in the arrest and death of Jesus. By doing these things they had fulfilled the Word of God.  The Good News, though was that God raised Jesus from the dead and through Him are the forgiveness of sins.  Paul made it clear that we are justified by faith in Jesus and not by the law.  His words encouraged the Gentiles who begged him to preach again to them the following Sabbath.

Has God given you an opportunity to share the Good News about Jesus with others as He did with Paul?  Would you do as Paul did and share your faith so that people will come to know the Savior who died for them as well?  You don’t have to give a history lesson like Paul did.  You can share your own testimony of how you came to know the Lord like the woman at the well.  She told her community that Jesus must be the Messiah that they had been waiting for because He knew everything about her.

What about the challenges you will face when you share the Gospel?  The following Sabbath when Paul and Barnabas returned to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, they were met with opposition from the Jews who were envious.  They contradicted what Paul said but he and Barnabas didn’t allow them to spoil things for them.  Instead, they boldly declared to them that since they rejected the Word of God which was supposed to be given to them first, it would be given instead to the Gentiles for the Lord commanded them, “‘I have established you to be a light of the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'”  Verse 48 says that when the Gentiles heard this, “they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And all who were ordained to eternal life believed.”

Don’t be discouraged when people oppose you and contradict what you say.  It’s Satan, your enemy at work, trying to prevent you from doing what God has called you to do.  Like Paul and Barnabas did, act boldly, knowing that the Lord is your side and He will not allow His work to be hindered.  Share the Gospel for the sake of those who will gladly receive it. Don’t let the Satan or anyone put out your light.  Keep it shining for those who will come to it and receive salvation through faith in Jesus.

Today, if God gives you an opportunity to encourage people with the Good News about Jesus, grab it.  And don’t worry about what to say.  The Holy Spirit has that covered.

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. For it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek – Romans 1:16

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust – Matthew 5:44, 46

David Spares Saul I Samuel 26:6-12Whom would you consider to be your enemy?  Someone you don’t get along with?  Someone you just can’t stand?  Someone who has it in for you?  Someone who doesn’t like you and is always undermining you?  How could we possibly love these people? This commandment of Jesus to love our enemies seems impossible but as He pointed out, if we love only those who love us in return, what good is that?  He was teaching us that hate is not of God.  Love is of God, even love for our enemies.

We are told that, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:20, 21).  Jesus showed love toward Malchus, the High Priest’s servant after Peter cut off his right ear.  Matthew gives an account of the incident.

Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.  But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” – Matthew 26:50-54.  Luke wrote that Jesus said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him (Luke 22:51).

Jesus rebuked Peter and healed Malchus.  I’m sure this act of kindness must have affected the servant in some way.

King David had an opportunity to kill his enemy Saul twice.  The first time was when they were in the wilderness in En Gedi.  Saul heard that David and his men were there and set off at once, taking three thousand men with him.  He meant to get David.  David’s men said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’”  David listened to his men and went to Saul who was in the cave.

David secretly cut off a piece from the corner of the king’s robe but afterward he felt badly about what he had done.  His heart troubled him and he said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.”  So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his way (1 Samuel 24:1-7).  The other time David spared Saul’s life is recorded in 1 Samuel 26.

Love for God made David do the right thing.  He loved Saul too and mourned when he died (2 Samuel 1:17).  He even commanded that the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan be buried in the tomb of Kish his father (2 Samuel 21:14).

By loving those we would consider to be our enemies, we will be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48).  Love and kindess should extend to everyone.  Loving God makes God us want to do right by others.  Show God how much you love Him with an act of kindness or making amends wit the person or persons you had a falling out with.


%d bloggers like this: