READING: Acts 13-14
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Do you need encouragement today? If so, keep reading.
On one Sabbath during his first missionary journey, Paul and his companions entered the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, where the leaders invited them to give a “message of encouragement” (Acts 13:15). Paul’s response was his first public speech in Acts. He focused on the history of God’s people from Egypt to Jesus, particularly leading to what had happened to Jesus: “Though they [the people of Jerusalem and their rulers] found no grounds for the death penalty, they asked Pilate to have Him killed. When they had fulfilled all that had been written about Him, they took Him down from the tree and put Him in a tomb” (Acts 13:28-29). The story, it seems, had ended. The tomb was a place of death and decay.
The next two words in Acts 13:30, though, changed the story: “But God raised Him from the dead.”
But God. I can think of no other two words that change everything. We were sinners, but God loved us. We rejected Him, but God came looking for us. We live with questions, but God is the answer. Our world is a mess, but God is in charge. We will all die, but God grants eternal life.
But God — that little phrase is filled with hope and life! Be encouraged today.
ACTION STEPS: Think about your biggest struggle today, and then fill in this blank: “I am wrestling with _________________________, but God is still a God of redemption and victory.” Live in that hope today.
PRAYER: “God, You are God. That You ever intervene in our life is amazing to us. Thank You that even when it feels like our hope is gone and the story is over, Your story remains. Thank You for the ‘but God' moments in our lives.”
TOMORROW’S READING: James 1-5