June 16, 2022 – Thursday
Acts 14:26 NIV
26 From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
Yesterday, Paul and Barnabas were in Iconium, but had to flee as a group of Jews and Gentiles wanted to stone them. They fled to Lystra and then to Derbe. While in Lystra, a man who had been lame from birth was healed by his faith when Paul called out Stand up on your feet!
All pretty amazing, except the people there believed Paul and Barnabas were gods sent in human form. It god so bad they wanted to make sacrifices to them even after Paul and Barnabas told them in v15, We too are only human, like you. And then added, We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. Later v19, Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.
Paul was not dead and the next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe where they preached and won a large number of disciples to the faith. From there they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch bolstering the disciples there encouraging them to remain true to the faith. They then went v24-25, through Pisidia, into Pamphylia and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but the thought of that much travel is exhausting to me and they did it all on foot or by sailing. But they were driven by their faith and calling to share the good news of Christ. The scriptures never register a single complaint from Paul or Barnabas or any of the other disciples. Yet I hear, from time to time, people complaining about taking the time to go to church or to a Bible study. What a wonderful counter example these disciples provide.
But back to our verse of the day, From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. And what did they do once they arrived there? The next verse tells us, On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. What does it mean in our verse of the day when we read, to the grace of God? It is surely His favor and protection thad had been implored for them in the dangerous and perilous travels they had accomplished. When we continue to for the work they had now completed, Gill’s Exposition adds for the work which they fulfilled; that is, for the work of the ministry, for the preaching of the Gospel in several places; and which they had now gone through, and finished with great integrity and faithfulness, and with much success, though through many afflictions and persecutions.
God’s grace or favor was upon them throughout their travels and that grace was shared with all who would believe the good news of Christ Jesus. It is a wonderful thing to experience the grace of God and know that you have been forgiven. It is not surprising then that we would want to share His grace with others. Sharing in love as Christ’s ambassadors as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:20a, We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. Paul also wrote of how we might find the words as we act as Christ’s ambassadors in Ephesians 6:19-20, Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Bottom Line: Will we be as fearless, tireless as Paul in acting as God’s ambassadors in sharing the gospel?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Give us the words to share the good news of Your Son. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton