FRIDAY, MARCH 4
5 Then a mob of Gentiles and Jews, along with their leaders, decided to attack and stone them. 6 When the apostles learned of it, they fled to the region of Lycaonia—to the towns of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding area. 7 And there they preached the Good News.
Acts 14:5-7 (NLT)
INFLUENCE IN A DIVIDED CULTURE: KEEP IT UP – DON’T LET OPPOSITION DISCOURAGE YOU
Jack Andrews gives an illustration of missionaries knowing when to flee and when to stay: In the 1980’s Kenny Rogers starred in a series of movies called “The Gambler.” Those movies depicted life in the 1800’s for a gambler. I don’t remember much about the movies, but I always remembered the theme song. Kenny Rogers sang the theme song. Part of that song speaks to the situation with Paul and Barnabas. “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em; know when to walk away; know when to run. You never count your money when you’re sitting at the table; there will be time enough for counting when the dealings done.”
In Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas knew when to walk away and knew when to run! The opposition came to a head and it was time to move on down the road to the next city! Tony Merida comments that “In this act of relocating, we should notice the combination of prudence and perseverance. The missionaries were brave but not stupid! In fleeing danger, they lived to preach another day. Sometimes the best way to make the gospel known may mean remaining; at other times it may mean relocating.” Either way they were not discouraged and continued to preach the Good News.
The Gospel is divisive! Jesus is the proverbial “line in the sand,” and one can be either for Him or against Him. If you share Jesus, you will face opposition, just like Jesus faced opposition. Don’t let that discourage you. They are attacking Him, not you. How did you respond the last time someone gave you pushback about Jesus?
Thank God for giving you the opportunity to tell others about the forgiveness He offers. Ask God to give you the discernment to know when to stay and when to walk away.