Sunday, January 10th, 2010
"Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will get saved, you and your household." (Acts 16:31)
Paul was not content with just being at peace with others. He wanted to show them genuine love, and the Christian ministry gave him that opportunity. On his first missionary tour, he preached the good news in Asia Minor. Despite fierce opposition, Paul and his associates concentrated on helping meek ones to embrace Christianity. They revisited Lystra and Iconium, even though opposers in those cities had tried to kill Paul. (Acts 13:1-3; 14:1-7, 19-23) Later, Paul and his group searched for rightly inclined people in the Macedonian city of Philippi. A Jewish proselyte named Lydia listened to the good news and became a Christian. The civil authorities beat Paul and Silas with rods and threw them into prison. However, Paul preached to the jailer, with the result that he and his family were baptized as worshippers of Jehovah.—Acts 16:11-34.
(Watchtower issue: 05/15/08, 5:10, 11)
*the account of what happened in Lystra, really shows just how much love Paul had for people and his ministry despite fierce persecution. First, the people treat him like a god (literally) and try to worship him and Barnabas, but then, at the flip of a switch they turn on him and actually stone him (almost to the point of death). But what does he do? He gets right back up again and goes back to his preaching assignment the very next day!
(Acts 14:11-13, 19-22)
"And the crowds, seeing what Paul had done, raised their voices, saying in the Lyc·a·o′ni·an tongue: “The gods have become like humans and have come down to us!” And they went calling Bar′na·bas Zeus, but Paul Her′mes, since he was the one taking the lead in speaking. And the priest of Zeus, whose [temple] was before the city, brought bulls and garlands to the gates and was desiring to offer sacrifices with the crowds..."
"But Jews arrived from Antioch and I·co′ni·um and persuaded the crowds, and they stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, imagining he was dead. However, when the disciples surrounded him, he rose up and entered into the city. And on the next day he left with Bar′na·bas for Der′be. And after declaring the good news to that city and making quite a few disciples, they returned to Lys′tra and to I·co′ni·um and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to remain in the faith and [saying]: “We must enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations."