Good morning! Have you ever been in charge of creating an inclusive environment, and then later you learned some people didn’t want to be a part of it? Did it concern you that some people rejected you?
Yesterday, we finished with Paul stating, “From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.” Today, as we continue in our reading we will learn it was more fruitful for Paul to do so.
Bible Verse– Acts 18:7-11 NLT
“7 Then he left and went to the home of Titius Justus, a Gentile who worshiped God and lived next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and everyone in his household believed in the Lord. Many others in Corinth also heard Paul, became believers, and were baptized.
9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! 10 For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” 11 So Paul stayed there for the next year and a half, teaching the word of God.”
- Titius Justus – a Gentile, a next door neighbor of the synagogue worshiped God.
- Crispus, the leader in the synagogue and his household believed.
- Many others believed.
- The Lord spoke to Paul and confirmed His presence and protection.
- The Lord confirmed many of the people belong to Him.
There is so much in these verses, but I will only cover a few.
Sisters and brothers, sometimes rejection is more fruitful than acceptance. In this case, with Paul we find it disappointing that some Jewish believers in the synagogue would not accept the Good News of Jesus Christ. Yet, outside of the Jewish synagogue there were many waiting to hear the Good News and receive Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The harvest was plentiful (the fruit was ripe for picking) and Paul was in Corinth teaching and preaching to the masses.
Through our human eyes, this may have looked like a setback or a disappointment for Paul, but it actually opened up a door for more people to become believers.
We don’t always know why one door closes and the other one opens, but trust that God will send you exactly where you need to be. Paul could have easily given up and told the Lord I quit – your people refuse to listen, and this is a waste of my time, but Paul didn’t say that. Paul trusted God to the point of saying to those in the synagogue, “Your blood is upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.”
Sisters and brothers, trust God’s plan. Rejection is often a door to greater possibilities. If it is God’s will a door or two will shut, but let it, and watch God do some amazing things in your life and for those around you. Go boldly where the Lord sends you, and trust the same Lord who spoke these words to Paul, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me. (v.9-10),” is the same Lord who speaks to you today.
Listen for the Lord to speak to you and let Him confirm what He is doing in your life.
Lord, we thank you and praise you for another day. Lord, we magnify your name because there is no one greater in all the earth or in heaven. Lord, thank you for your amazing grace and mercy over our lives. Lord, you have been so good to us. You have shown us love and forgiveness, trust and acceptance, and given us peace in the midst of affliction. Lord, you are worthy of praise. Lord, today we pray for all those who have been rejected and ask that you remind them that they are accepted in you. Lord, we pray for those who have been laid off or are about to be laid off and we ask that you open the doors of employment. Lord, you know each person’s need, you heard the medical diagnosis, you saw the notice in the mail, you heard the conversations and plots against your children, but Lord you are greater than all those things. Lord, speak to us. Reveal your plan, encourage our hearts, strengthen our faith, remind us to be bold, to not be afraid, or silent. Lord, build us up and lead us. Lord, you are the commander and chief, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, send your armies to protect, stand with us, and fight the battles. Send us to do your will. In Jesus name, amen.
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