Daily Bible Reading

May 31, 2024

Acts 14:1-20(GNT)

God’s Guiding Word: Spiritual Renewal

May 31

Introduction

Acts 14:1–20: Paul and Barnabas continue their first missionary journey through Asia Minor, traveling to Iconium and Lystra. Those who oppose their teachings create trouble. Paul is stoned and dragged out of town, but when the believers gather around him, he gets up and goes on to Derbe with Barnabas.

Today’s Key Verse: Acts 14:15b

[Barnabas and Paul shouted:] “We are here to announce the Good News, to turn you away from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven, earth, sea, and all that is in them.”

Reading

14 The same thing happened in Iconium: Paul and Barnabas went to the synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of Jews and Gentiles became believers. But the Jews who would not believe stirred up the Gentiles and turned them against the believers. The apostles stayed there for a long time, speaking boldly about the Lord, who proved that their message about his grace was true by giving them the power to perform miracles and wonders. The people of the city were divided: some were for the Jews, others for the apostles.

Then some Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, decided to mistreat the apostles and stone them. When the apostles learned about it, they fled to the cities of Lystra and Derbe in Lycaonia and to the surrounding territory. There they preached the Good News.

In Lystra there was a crippled man who had been lame from birth and had never been able to walk. He sat there and listened to Paul’s words. Paul saw that he believed and could be healed, so he looked straight at him 10 and said in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” The man jumped up and started walking around. 11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they started shouting in their own Lycaonian language, “The gods have become like men and have come down to us!” 12 They gave Barnabas the name Zeus, and Paul the name Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of the god Zeus, whose temple stood just outside the town, brought bulls and flowers to the gate, for he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice to the apostles.

14 When Barnabas and Paul heard what they were about to do, they tore their clothes and ran into the middle of the crowd, shouting, 15 “Why are you doing this? We ourselves are only human beings like you! We are here to announce the Good News, to turn you away from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven, earth, sea, and all that is in them. 16 In the past he allowed all people to go their own way. 17 But he has always given evidence of his existence by the good things he does: he gives you rain from heaven and crops at the right times; he gives you food and fills your hearts with happiness.” 18 Even with these words the apostles could hardly keep the crowd from offering a sacrifice to them.

19 Some Jews came from Antioch in Pisidia and from Iconium; they won the crowds over to their side, stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, thinking that he was dead. 20 But when the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he and Barnabas went to Derbe

Reflect

How did the people in Iconium react to the teachings of Paul and Barnabas? Who accepted their message? Who opposed them? What did the crowds in Lystra do? What did Barnabas and Paul say to the people? What does today’s reading teach you about the risks involved in proclaiming the Good News? Do people today face such risks? If you were asked to tell about all that God has done for you in your life, how would you answer?

Pray

Living God, you made heaven, earth, sea and all that is in them. My heart is filled with joy that comes from serving you. May the Good News of your love and salvation spread throughout the world. Amen.

Tomorrow’s Reading

Genesis 12:1–9: God’s call to Abram.

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