Read: Acts 19
It has been so refreshing to read through the book of Acts again and be recentered on the only thing that makes the movement of the church go forward - the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We so often get lost in other things but we have to remember the main thing… Faithful followers of Jesus faithfully proclaiming the good news of Jesus. It is simple, yet complex. There are many layers. There are many effects. One simple message. One life changing truth. Yet, it flips our whole world upside down…
In Acts 19 we dive deeper into this truth of the Gospel…
1) THE GOSPEL IS BOLD (v.8-10)
The Gospel is a bold truth proclaimed by bold, faithful servants. It will leave some falling to their knees in worship… others will become stubborn. We have to continue to be bold… begging for God to move in their lives. Paul didn’t know these people. He didn’t wait till he had a “relationship” to share… He shared WHILE BUILDING the relationship!
2) THE GOSPEL CALLS US UP (v.11-20)
Here you read this miraculous story of repentance. These people trusted in dark magic, until they saw and understood who Jesus was. Then they came in repentance. They burned their books. They turned from their sin. They changed their lifestyle. They could have sold their stuff for a lot of money but they chose to burn it because they understood that it was against God.
Here is the most glorious truth about the Gospel… Jesus takes us as we are but does not leave us that way. He calls us up… to a life of holiness. The expectations are high but we get to trust in Jesus as we run after Him.
3) THE GOSPEL IS COUNTER-CULTURAL (v.21-41)
In this section we read about how the Gospel caused a political disturbance because in proclaiming the Gospel they were inherently proclaiming against the worldview of others. They drug them before others. Cancel culture existed long before today.
All I am saying is… we better get used to this. The Gospel is counter-cultural. We live in a world where we are told not to offend anyone… to stay in our lane… to not challenge the flow. Satan will use this to convince us sharing Jesus is wrong or that we are unable to. I am not saying to go purposely offend people but what I am saying is that Jesus, the Gospel, and grace are offensive. However, there is a way to share Jesus in a loving way.
Our world is not getting “closer” to God. It is getting further. The further we get the more counter cultural Jesus becomes. We must stand firm on truth. We must cling to Jesus. Truth does not change just because culture does.
Be bold! Call others up! Live counter-cultural!
Why do you think that it is hard for Christians to live for Jesus and go against the grain of culture?
By: Nick Parsons
"I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" (Acts 19:15)
Even the demons give testimony that the power belonged to Jesus, the apostles, and no one else.
Amen Korbet! Exactly what I was going to say. Great word today NP.
There are many things that hinder us in evangelism. Fear of rejection, fear of humiliation, fear of creating awkward situations at work, and so many others. Most of it is simply fear. However, as we grow in our relationship with Jesus and our love for God and others, these fears start to fade in light of the how serious hell is and how great God is. We want people to have this eternal life of enjoyment and pleasures found in knowing God personally.
A prayer to help us grow in this:
Father, help us to grow in our love and understanding of You. Let us be so captivated by You that the many fears we have fade in light of Your glory. Grow us in our love for those around us so that this love would conquer our excuses, lack of faith, and love of comfort.
The more we know God, the more we should want to make Him known to a lost world. "Greg Laurie "
Such amazing insights Nick, and beautiful comments from readers. Jumpstart is a solid way to start the day!
What makes living for Christ such a challenge is BECAUSE it goes against the grain of human culture. When your core is different from others' it's almost impossible to communicate. Only the Holy Spirit can break through the cultural divide. Our job is to pave the way, provide the impetus, prime the pump.
Fear of making others uncomfortable is a hindrance. However, remembering that the gospel is offensive is a good reminder. All we are doing is presenting them to it though. God is the one that does the work!