It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My Study Notes: Chapter 13 TO LIVE IS CHRIST

My Study notes: Chapter 13 TO LIVE IS CHRIST

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. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.

Acts 14: 19-20

Paul and Barnabas traveled south in the province of Galatia to the city of Iconium. Paul was about 40 years of age at this time. In spite of opposition they spent considerable time there speaking boldly for the Lord. When things took a turn for the worse they ran for their lives.

In Proverbs 22:3 it says: that “prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

Christ often chose prudence. In John 7:1 it says “ Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely straying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life” No one could mistake His prudence for cowardice. In Matthew 26:1-2 we read “When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to the disciples, ‘As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified’

Christ did not resist His accusers this time because the time had come for him to sacrifice His life .

Christ delivered Paul and Barnabas from evil attacks by using their heads and feet, not miraculous intervention..

There are two principals regarding miraculous intervention in the New Testament

1. Miracles were used more often for authenticity than intervention
2. Miracles were used most often when natural means were not available or not conceivable.

Whether God uses natural or supernatural means to deliver us from danger, both are divine provisions.

The pair then proceeded to the city of Lystra and began to preach the good news. There they healed a man who had been crippled from birth.

Because of their miracle the crowds declared ‘the gods have come down to us in human form.’ This wasn’t what Paul and Barnabas had hoped to convey. They wasted no time in setting the record straight. One minute the crowd was singing there praises , the next minute they were stoning Paul and dragging him out of the city.

Many years later Paul would write in 2 Timothy 3: 10-11
You , however, know about…what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecution I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.

The word rescue in the original Greek was rhuomai which means ‘to draw or snatch from danger, rescue , deliver. This is more with the meaning of drawing to oneself than mere rescuing from someone or something. God wasn’t only interested in drawing Paul out of difficulty, or danger. He wanted to draw Paul closer to Himself.

Every time God delivers us, the point is ultimately to draw us closer to Himself. Whether we get to avoid pain or suffering or we must persevere in the midst of it, our deliverance comes when were are dragged from the enemy of our souls to the heart of God.

So many times I’ve been helped by God and now I understand why, He wanted me to come closer to Him. I believe I have slowly but surely done that. I’ve always believed, but I’ve not always been as close as I am now.

Every time I hear or see hatred, jealousy, irate anger, selfishness, or lies, it makes my heart break. Every time I catch myself in one of these sins, I wonder where did that come from? I am only human, but a human trying hard to get closer and closer to the heart of my God.

Each day I get another chance to do it right, I guess that’s what life is all about.

‘On Ya’ - ma

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