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A Message with Consequences
(Paul's 1st Missionary Journey)

By Pastor Ben Greenbaum
Thursday, March 11, 2010

Scripture Verses Acts 13:1-14:20

Please click here to read today's verses: Acts 13:1-14:20 

In Acts 13 Paul and Barnabas are set apart by the Spirit and sent off to spread the message of Jesus.  This 1st missionary journey took them to Cyprus, Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe.  As I read this passage I am struck by a couple of things:
  1. Paul and Barnabas are bold with the message of Jesus; they deliberately and intentionally shared it with everyone they encountered. (13:32-41)
  2. They shared the message not counting the cost to themselves.  They were persecuted for sharing Jesus, Paul was almost stoned to death because of the message he preached.  (14:18-20)

As I consider the passion with which they shared the message of Jesus, and as I consider the hardship they endured for the message, I wonder, do we share the same message.  The message of Jesus is offensive.  The thought that we are sinners in need of a savior stands in stark contrast to the pride and egotism of this world.  Too often I believe we sugar coat the message of Jesus, we dress it up with moral teaching, principals for living, fellowship, or Jesus is your way to a better life.  Maybe instead of dressing up the message, and presenting, a palatable, non-offensive, socially acceptable Jesus, a Jesus that doesn’t lead to salvation; maybe instead of giving people a palatable Jesus, we give them the Jesus of the Bible.  The Jesus who said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  NO ONE comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)  Paul and Barnabas willingly endured the persecution that came with THE MESSAGE, are we?

While in Jail, Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.  Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:19-20)

That’s the sentiment that should dominate our prayers for ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ.