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That Sewage Smell Just Lingers

Acts 17: 13 But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble.14 The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind.15 Those escorting Paul went with him all the way to Athens; then they returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him.

I think we all know what produces sewer smells and some have a belief in God that stinks to high heaven and that smell comes from an evil faction letting off gases that are from evil hearts that are self-motivated for self-gain. Sometimes evil pursues so long that the smell of it just lingers. Some Jews in Thessalonica learned Paul was preaching the Word of God in Berea, so they followed him there and they were getting another mob together to stir up trouble. The believers in Berea acted "at once" and got Paul away to the coast and Silas and Timothy remained behind. They not only got Paul out but escorted him all the way to Athens. Those new converts became "soldiers of the faith" and they knew Paul needed protection so they protected him. In protecting Paul they were also protecting the message of hope Paul carried with him wherever he traveled.

Their newfound faith was really showing as they realized a new gift of discernment given to them by the Holy Spirit and their next moves preserved the message and Paul. Once Paul was safely at a distance from Berea instructions were sent to Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him. If you get the feeling that Paul is the main character of this little troupe, then you have it right. Silas and Timothy were important to this mission tour, but Paul was the one God had anointed specifically to lead the mission. No petty jealousies in this group and they all knew their place. Oh, we could learn so much as believers in our churches today from this group on this second missionary journey. Pride and jealousy, which stops ministry, could be replaced with encouragement and love and then the gospel would zoom forward.

The smell of dissension and unbelief is a putrid smell and it is a smell that lingers until God's people truly become God's people in action and not just in words. Some "spiritual" deodorants might include a certain flavor called repentance and revival. No more "spiritual" BO, just sweet-smelling fragrances of grace, hope, love, and purity. Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! The sooner we taste and see the goodness of God the sooner that goodness may be seen in each of us. Just it "roll on" and change you from the inside out!!

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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