Faith to be healed!
Scripture reading for May 25th: Acts 14
Paul and Barnabas, commissioned by the church in Antioch, went out under the leading of the Holy Spirit to do the work that God would prepare for them. (Acts 13:4) They found many willing listeners and some believed. They also ran into opposition, primarily from the strong Jews who felt threatened by the Gospel message. They then took the message to the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
“At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively 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.” (Acts 14:1-3) God worked with and through these missionaries enabling them to preach effectively. They also had the message confirmed by miracles. But this also stirred up opposition and a plot to stone them caused them to flee to Lystra and Derbe.
“In Lystra, there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.” (Acts 14:8-10) Paul discerned what God could do through the faith of this man. Paul encouraged him with a command and this man jumped up and walked around! This opened the door for the apostles to preach to a great crowd of people before the Jews from Iconium came and stoned Paul and dragged his body outside the city! God works through faith!