Acts 18:6 When Rejected, Move On

Walking Away

But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Acts 18:6

Paul had went to the city of Corinth and was preaching the Gospel message there. He was trying to reach the Jews for Jesus. Many of the Jews opposed him and became abusive. Instead of fighting them, he shook off his clothes and moved on to another group of people.

It is very common for someone who is trying to change the mindset of a group of people to be opposed. People do not like to be told that their way of thinking is wrong and most people do not like change.

While most people do not get abusive when being presented a new way of thinking and acting, there are some who do. It is difficult for people to change traditional ways of acting or thinking.

A believer who is working on fulfilling the great commandment to tell others about Jesus, will eventually meet up with people who will oppose him. And sometimes that opposition will get abusive.

For the believer, this opposition can not only appear with those outside the church, there are some inside the church who will oppose him for what God is leading him to say and do. Just as it is in the world, it can happen in the church. People in the church will become abusive in defending their beliefs or actions.

Instead of fighting back or becoming abusive, the believer needs to shake off his clothes and move on to another person or group. Do not fight as the world does and become abusive. Do not be demanding. In these types of actions, there is no love.

If you have not faced this yet, there will come a day when it will happen if you follow God with all of your heart. People will oppose you and become abusive. Do not let it worry or get you angry. Move on to someone else. Keep doing what God wants you to do.

Allow God to work in the hearts and minds of the people. Make sure that you are doing what God wants you to do. It may be rough, but it will be worth it in the end.

I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that God will give you strength and wisdom to do His will; that God will give you favor with the people; and that God will guide you when to move on to other groups of people. 

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Mark 14:27-28 Hope After Failure

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“You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ” ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Mark 14:27-28

Jesus had just predicted His death again, and also predicted that the disciples would abandon Him for a time. He does also say that He will meet with them again after He has risen.

Failure is something that everyone experiences at some point in their life. Each person has a different amount of failures and types of failures. Some keep trying many times and go through many failures. Many quit after a failure, giving up all hope of succeeding. Or they change what they are trying to accomplish.

Thomas Edison is known for saying that with each “failure” it was not a failure but a success. He then knew one more way not to do something.

God knows that every person is human and will make bad choices. They will fail at times in following Him with all of their heart and life. Jesus knew this about each of the disciples. They would deny Him and walk away in fear.

However, Jesus was still willing to accept them and work with and through them. Despite the failure, He planned to meet with them afterwards and move on, rather than giving up on them.

A lot of people have made mistakes and failed God, then quit trying to serve Him because they are such failures. They lose hope in being able to be saved by Jesus.

Salvation is not dependent upon how you live your life, it is dependent upon your belief that Jesus saved you and will save you. Take a look at the lives of the disciples and see how often they failed Jesus, and yet He still loved them and worked through them. He met with them afterwards and did not scold them for failing Him.

Do not cut yourself down when you fail God. Go to Him and repent and accept the forgiveness Jesus provides. Jesus is waiting for you. He is going ahead of you to meet with you when you are ready to meet with Him in your Galilee.

There is still hope after failure. It is not the end, until you take your last breath in this life. Believe in the hope Jesus provides you.

I pray today that you will know the hope Jesus provides; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus provides; that you will keep striving to serve God; and that you will trust in God with all of your life.

Packing Up And Moving On

There is a family who belonged to our church that had made a good impact on our community over a short couple of years. They had come into the area, from out of state, to run a boys home.

This boys home, Still Creek Ranch, is one where troubled boys could be sent to try to get their life back on the right track. It is Christian based and has its own school for teaching and training the boys. At the ranch, the boys learn to grow gardens and take care of animals, while learning about God.

The couple who ran the ranch, had chosen to become members and attend our church. They were always faithful to be at church and had a heart for God. Their focus was on God in everything that they did. They held a standard in their own lives that would mirror God’s standard.

It was only about two years ago that they came into our life. During that time, we had done several things together and talked many times about many different issues in life. Both, my wife and I, and this couple have had to go through various challenges in life and saw God work through them with great blessings.

About two to three months ago, this couple felt a call from God to move out of state to another ministry in New Mexico. This was something difficult to accept.

Many questions were asked as to why would God move them away. From the outside it did not make much sense. Everything appeared to be going great.

After talking with them, we found out that God was moving their hearts to a different type of ministry. The doors were slowly closing where they were. Although they felt that change was about to occur, they were not looking for a new ministry or for change. They just trusted God and kept doing what God placed them there to do.

As they were doing their ministry, God placed it on the heart of someone else to call them to a different ministry. It would be in a different state and would be doing a church plant. This was something brand new for them. After a lot of prayer, they felt that this was the direction God was leading the. Once this decision was made, the doors opened more for the new ministry and started to close where they currently were.

This last weekend was the weekend for them to pack up and move to the new location. My family was blessed to be able to help them load their moving truck up for the move. It was an event that took all day to finish.

It was a blessing to us to be able to help them load up their truck. During the time of loading we were able to talk about various events in our lives, and memories of the time shared together. We were able to share many more testimonies of how God had blessed us in miraculous ways. At the end were able to pray God’s blessing, provision and protection in this new journey in their life as we sent them off.

As hard as it is to see them leave, we know that God has great things in store for them. Often in life people like to settle down in one place and never move again. It is comfortable staying in one place where you know everyone and everything. Change is never easy and rarely is it fun, at least at the beginning of the change.

However, change can bring on new blessings. If they had never went through change and came to our area, we would never have had the chance to meet them. The blessings of knowing them and their children would never have occurred.

As much as we would love to keep them here, they have new blessings to pour out on other people somewhere else. There are new lives to be touched in an area that I cannot reach and I must be willing to let them go and do that ministry.

Letting friends move on is hard, but it does not mean the end of a friendship. The friendship will still remain, through phone calls, emails and Facebook. We will always be connected by God and prayer. We can touch each other through prayer.  Ultimately there will be a reunion when Jesus returns and we all meet up again in heaven, if not here on this earth.

We look forward to hearing about how God will bless their ministry and about the lives that will be touched in the new location.

If you have never had a friend move on, there will come a day when that will happen. Allow your friends to move forward in the will of God to make a change in this world. Not every believer needs to be in one location. Allow everyone to go where God has a place for them. Do not be selfish and want to keep the person tied down to you alone. Share them with the world.

Always remember that God is with them and will never leave nor forsake them. And God is with you and will never leave nor forsake you.

2 Samuel 12:20 Moving On Past Tragedy

Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. 2 Samuel 12:20

After David found out that Bathsheba had become pregnant by him, he had her husband killed. Although this was done in secret, God knew and sent Nathan, a prophet, to him to confront him about it. God chose to take the child’s life. While the child was sick, David prayed and fasted, hoping God would relent from taking the child’s life. Once the child had died, David did not spend time mourning the loss of the child, but got up and started eating and worshiping God again.

Tragedy is something that hits people very hard. Loss of a loved one, extreme illness, loss of a job, loss of a part of the body, or one of many other things in life that are hard-hitting. It is very difficult when tragedy hits a person.

Most people begin a time of mourning and weeping at the loss or the tragedy. It is very common for people to go into a time of depression and blaming God for what had happened. Some will even walk away from God because of the tragedy.

Once David’s son had died, he realized there was nothing more that could be done. He cleaned up and went to the temple to worship God. He trusted God’s choice in taking his son’s life. David was willing to worship God, despite the tragedy, and then move on with life.

Staying in depression will not solve or change anything, but keep one miserable.

You may be going through a great tragedy now, or have gone through one in the past. Focus your life on God’s love, mercy, and control. Trust that God knows what He is doing and allowing. Do not get angry with God, but worship Him in spite of the tragedy. Then move on with life.

God has given you the gift of life, don’t waste it in depression about a tragedy in life.

I pray today that you will see God’s hand at work in your life; that you will trust all that God is doing in your life; that God will strengthen you in a tragedy; and that you will lean on God for strength.

Acts 13:51 Keep On Moving

“So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium.” Acts 13:51

Paul and Barnabas had been traveling around preaching the gospel message to the people of different cities. In one of the cities, the Jewish leaders of the temple stirred up the people against them. The leaders did not want the gospel message preached. They wanted to stay with the traditional ways of the temple with the Law of Moses. Paul and Barnabas pointed out that they were sent to all people. They then dust off their feet and move on to another city.

The dusting off of the feet is a symbol that they did not want any responsibility with the people there. They were saying that they had tried and were rejected and so the people of that city were left on their own.

If you are willing to tell everyone and anyone about Jesus, there will come a time when some will reject your message. They will try to run you out of the area. Some believers will take that personally and try to fight back. Debates will rise and discussions will never end. The focus will change from being saved to something else. It will lead to a dead-end of no value.

Paul chose to not have anything to do with the people. He let them go. The Holy Spirit was probably guiding them in this action, though the Bible does not give that information.

There comes a time when someone is witnessing to a person, that you must stop trying and move on to someone else. Allow God to bring someone else into their path to be a witness. You have done all you can do. It is time to move on.

Do not allow yourself to get trapped into endless debates and arguments with a non-believer. There is still hope for every person, but it may not finish through you. You may have just planted the seed, it will be someone else who has to water it, and God has to make it grow in the person. You do not have to be the one to do all the steps.

Allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide you as to when to speak about Jesus to someone and when to be quiet and move on. Be willing to move on when needed to, someone else needs to hear about Jesus that is open to it.

I pray today that you will be led by the Holy Spirit in your witnessing; that you will not be trapped in worthless debates; that God will use you to reach many people for Jesus; and that God will strengthen you to be His witness.