Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
How are you? Good? Bad? Ugly?
Feel free to shout it out right now. I’m listening…
Go ahead. Yell it out…
…I can’t hear you. You gotta speak up…
This week in my “Hello Friends” I want to write about “Speaking Up” from the perspective of Barnabas. For a number of weeks we have been spotlighting an aspect of the life of Barnabas (one of my favorite characters in the Bible). This week’s focus is upon Acts 14.
Acts 14:1-3 “At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke in such a way that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.”
Paul and Barnabas spoke “in such a way” that people believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t you want to speak in such a way? The remainder of this passage gives us some clues as to the way they spoke.
1. With Strength.
The Scripture tells us that they spoke boldly for the Lord. There was a weight to their words. The last sentence in the Book of Acts tells us that Paul finished his life in a Roman prison “proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” And a number of New Testament passages refer to Jesus as someone who spoke with authority (Matthew 7:29; Mark 1:22, 27; Luke 4:32, 36).
Barnabas. Paul. Jesus. Three examples of people that spoke with strength. I want to be on this list. Don’t you?
2. With Signs
Not only was the word spoken boldly but it was accompanied by miraculous signs and wonders of the Lord. Now that’s a one/two punch!
Not only is Missouri the Show-Me State. I think people all over the world want to see the Gospel in action and not just hear it spoken. So many Christians would do well to not only speak about the Lord, but to accompany those words with Spirit-infused signs and wonders. Imagine non-believers hearing AND seeing the grace of God in action.
The Great Commission in Mark 16:20 says “they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.” Another one/two punch.
This reminds me of Ephesians 4:15 that challenges us to “speak the truth in love.” Words (truth) are to be paired up with actions (love). Again, another great one/two punch.
Let’s speak up…in such a way…that a great number of people will believe! Amen? Amen.