Scripture: “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses. Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you: ” ‘Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.’”
Act 13:38-41 NIV
Observation: The Jews were creatures of habit and afraid of change. No matter how good or true a truth may be, they were bound and determined to keep things the same, “comfortable,” way they had always been. Additionally, the law gave them control. In their attempt to keep things as they were they mocked and degraded the disciples, scheming against them even to the point of persecution and death.
Application: Have you ever met someone who was a non-believer who became agitated with you or even appeared to be jealous just because they knew you were a Christian? They mock you by calling you a “stick in the mud” or “that good little Christian.” Sometimes they even hurl even more hurtful insults at you, all because of your faith. I believe they are under attack and this is a matter of spiritual warfare. I believe that inside they know the truth. They want what you have but that would mean admitting they were wrong and that they would have to submit to God’s authority. That’s not an easy thing to do for an unbeliever. A lot of “good” people struggle with this very issue. You hear them say “why do I have to confess I’ve never done anything wrong?” or “see they’re not perfect, if they were they wouldn’t have done that!” These people are “excuse makers” and want to take the easy way out. As long as they can see another’s faults, especially a Christian’s, they don’t have to admit their own.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you know exactly what it’s like to be persecuted. Please help me stay the course and focus on what you want me to do. Help me Lord to stand for your truth in every circumstance no matter how much pressure I may feel from those around me. Lord, I love you. Thank you for forgiving me and leaving me your word which provides a means of teaching and correcting. Help me to show loving kindness and your truth in every situation to believers and non-believers alike. Amen