“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.”
Have you ever been in a place you’re not wanted? My faith and my ministry have placed me there on many occasions. On the least terrifying incident, I attended a staff Christmas party for the faculty of a school where I was a middle school choral teacher. The soiree was in a very opulent home, richly adorned for the holidays. As I entered, the host led me to a room with much food and drink. My china plate was quickly filled with finger foods and I grabbed a can of soda. Another host was adamant about pouring my drink in a fine crystal goblet. I respectfully declined. In rooms filled with champagne flutes, brandy snifters, shot glasses, and beer mugs – there I was with a can of Coke. The host was quite unhappy with me and my “better than thou” can of coke. I respectively explained that my choice was for me. She made it clear I was not welcome and I soon departed after greeting most of the staff.
My most terrifying incident involved some street witnessing in a large city. A very large dude with his compliment of friends approached this young teen handing out tracks and praying for people. He took the new testament from my hands, tore a page out with his teeth, and proceeded to eat it. He then got nose to nose with me and said, “is there a scripture about that?” Without thinking about my situation I quoted Revelation 10:9, “It will be sweet as honey in your mouth, but it will turn sour in your stomach!” He had a perplexed look on his face and one of his friends laughed and said, “That was a good one.” One of the guys in the group said, “let the kid preacher alone, and let’s go drink and cause trouble.” Thank you, Lord, for saving me for another day.
In your walk with the Lord, there will come a day when you will have to boldly go.
- Have you ever been in an awkward and unwelcome position because of your faith? How did you respond?
- Why does God allow us to find ourselves in these situations and how do you think He expects us to handle it?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?