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Same Story, Different Town

Updated: Aug 11

Acts 14: 1 The same thing happened in Iconium. Paul and Barnabas went to the Jewish synagogue and preached with such power that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers.2 Some of the Jews, however, spurned God’s message and poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas.

You would think that Paul and Barnabas would get a little relief in the next town they go to but, sure enough, they are in hot water again. What is the cause of the rub? The power of their preaching was so intimidating that the old traditional Jews poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against them. So get this. Paul is the messenger taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to a whole new world of Gentiles and the Jews who missed the Messiah are jealous and want to stop the message at all costs. But the power of God is with Paul so much that they are seeing new converts and the message is growing at a record pace. There are some keywords in these verses. Words like "power of God", "preach", and "believers."

You are probably gonna figure out a pattern here that follows Paul wherever he goes. He knows his power is from the Lord and the message of salvation and he doesn't lose his focus being on the truth of the Word of God. I am reading a book about the life of George Mueller, a man of God who established orphanages to help poor orphans eat and have a place of love in their lives. George lived a life of prayer and his connection with God was very intimate and very powerful and God worked a powerful work in his life. Mueller made a statement in his book that spoke to me. He said that he really did not take commentaries and helps books very seriously when it comes to reading the Bible. He committed to read the Bible and let the Holy Spirit teach him the truths. A few years ago I was also convicted to do the same and my understanding of God's Word deepened more than it had in all the previous years. I am not saying I am smarter or better than those who write commentaries, but I do trust the Holy Spirit to show me the deeper truths of God's Word and I rely on Him.

I have written over 4000 blog entries since making that commitment and published a book on vision and it has heightened my study of God's Word and helped me see life in a whole new way. I thank God for His Word and I defend the fact that I believe ALL the Bible. Not just the parts that make me feel good. For so many years I was under the impression that I should learn things about God from a certain denominational stance, but I no longer believe that because God has a Word He wants to speak to me and the Holy Spirit guides me as I learn from Him and Him alone. I serve and agree with most beliefs of that certain denomination, but that doesn't trump my desire to know God in a very personal way. I love fellowship with other believers, but that can never replace the intimate relationship that God allows me with Him alone. What a mighty God we serve!! When deep calls to deep I am listening and ready to learn from the Maker of the Universe. I don't develop that relationship through a human filter, but through the Word of God.

Paul went to a new town called Iconium, but his message was the same and the power of God was in that message and many came to Christ. We need to learn from his example that the message of old is as new and fresh as ever and there is power in that message for a lost and dying world. That message also convicts and equips the saints to follow Christ and keep the message going so that the world might know that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Wherever we go the message is still the same and should not be changed because of a difference in age, locale, or type of people. The power is in the message!!! Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

Wherever Andra and I have traveled our message is still the same. Jesus Saves!! No need to change what is perfect, even in the face of adversity. Share it with us and stay the course. Same story. Different town!

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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