In Such a Way

“Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles.  When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them,  they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country,  and there they continued to preach the gospel.” Acts 14:1-7

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6

It’s hard to imagine the swells of new believers in the region. The disciples, scattered by persecution following Pentecost, lived and spoke and served and loved in such a way that many were confronted with the life-changing gospel and great numbers believed unto salvation. This ancient ‘revival’ also brought divisiveness and criticism. None were lukewarm to the powerful message spoken and lived. (Acts 2:37-47; 8:1-8; 10:42-43; 12:24-25; 13:43)

Who made the difference? The Holy Spirit. What made a difference? The way He worked in His people to compel, counsel, and awaken compassion, and through them to teach and perform miraculous works. The Spirit regenerated, the Word saved, and the disciples were the instruments by which He transformed lives and the world.

As Jesus’s present day disciples, we are emissaries of this gospel message. How clearly and attractively is it seen and heard through us? Are we behaving and loving and serving with intention, by God’s grace, to point people to Christ and make an eternal difference? What impatience, busyness, aloofness, or tone of voice dulls our light or muffles our message?

How willing are we to step away from our agenda to serve the Lord’s, to step out from under human glory to point to His, even if this means meeting complaint, rejection, or even harm? Are we more driven to do our work, or God’s works (which can be through our work)? How willing are we to speak His truth, in love, no matter the pushback, resistance, or consequences? What difference would it make, and could He make, if we offered ourselves each day to live in such a way that is His way: wherever He would have us go, to whomever He appoints, to do whatever He wants, to bring about His salvific ends? (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 14:11-23; Ephesians 4:15)

“Where you go, I’ll go
Where you stay, I’ll stay
When you move, I’ll move
I will follow you
Who you love, I’ll love
How you serve I’ll serve
If this life I lose,
I will follow you.” ~Chris Tomlin (2010)

Lord, have full sway over me so I live Your way, to fulfill Your purposes, for Your glory.

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