Daily Devotion, 4-21-2020

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Shake It Off (Part 2)
Reading: Acts 18:5-11

One night I was eating at a pizza place with my high school friends.  One of my dear friends poured parmesan cheese down my sweatshirt.  You can imagine the smell.  I immediately went outside and to the best of my ability shook my clothes off to get rid of the smell.  Otherwise, all my friends would have rejected me because of the way I smelled. 

Well, in yesterday's reading, Paul and Barnabas shook off their shoes as a way of warning the Jewish leaders about the consequences of rejecting the gospel.  In today's passage it says they shook out theirclothes signifying that they would not and could not be held responsible for the Jewish leaders rejection of the gospel.  Paul and Barnabas said they were moving on to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the Gentiles.

We can learn some lessons from Paul and Barnabas about how to keep moving forward as we share the gospel:

1. Shake your clothes off and move on: While we are called to share the gospel and people reject it, don't let feelings of failure take over.  Don't allow yourself to be blamed. ..

2. Find somewhere new to share the gospel. Instead of going to the synagogue to witness (or to the same old place you always go to witness), go to somewhere different to share the gospel.  In Paul and Barhabas' case they moved on to preach and teach in people's homes and worshipped there with a worshiper of God. And in the worshiper's house there was a synagogue leader, and he and his entire household began to believe as a result of Paul and Barnabas' teaching.  And many others heard, believed and were baptized.

3. The Lord will give you assurace and confidence. Don't be afraid, keep on speaking, don't be silent and know that God is with you.  God has your back... so keep on moving and don't let your success be measured by people who reject the message you are sharing.  You might just be the one who plants that seed right when God wants you to...so keep on sharing the good news.

The rest of the story says it all.  They stayed in Corinth one more year teaching the word of God.  Let's try Paul's strategy... (1) let's shake our clothes off when someone tries to stop us from teaching about Jesus; (2) leave and go somewhere else to share the good news and; (3) know that God is going to give you great assurance to carry out the task he has in store for you. 

So shake off the bad smell of rejection and keep moving forward... God wants to use you mightily!!

Dear God, thank you for always being with us to help us shake off the smell of rejection and leave and go to new places that are hungry and ripe to hear you word.  Help us discern when to stay and when it is time for us to leave.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.





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