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The following is excerpted from To Live Is Christ, The Life and
Ministry of Paul, by Beth Moore, LifeWay Press, Nashville, Tennessee 1997. This
section is from page 57 and is based on Acts 13.
Sometimes we yearn for God to crack open a receptive door
to share our faith with a friend, neighbor, or coworker. We scramble to grab an
opportunity that never seems to come. Other times, God swings open a door so
quickly, we're too stunned to walk through it! In today's reading God swung the
door open so quickly He almost blew the beard off the rabbi! Practically by the
time Paul and Barnabas found a chair, they were asked to share a message of
Paul was not about to miss a golden opportunity. Like any
good orator, he chose his style and material to fit his audience. As he stood
in the synagogue, he addressed Jews and those who believed in the God of
Israel. I am convinced he had a very specific purpose as he introduced Christ
to them through their own history.
Remember when Paul went to Arabia after his conversion
and spent some solitary time trying to sort things out? You may recall he then
returned to Damascus and "baffled the Jews...proving that Jesus is the Christ"
(Acts 9:22). On week 2, day 3 we discovered that the word proving means
knitting together. In Arabia Paul had been knitting together the old and the
new and found the two strands of yarn to be a perfect match. Paul's intention
was to give the Jews in Pisidian Antioch a knitting lesson! He urged them to
see how perfectly Christ knit the past with the present. They did not have to
forsake all the chapters of their history. They just needed to accept the rest
of the story!
Paul was such a prodigy of grace, he could not preach a
sermon without it. He charged the Jews with having executed their own Messiah
with "no proper ground" (v. 28), yet he extended the invitation to any
"brothers" (v. 38) or fellow Jews, to receive forgiveness through Christ. What
glorious news! If a person who had shared the responsibility for Christ's death
could be forgiven, can any person be beyond forgiveness?
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