“To boldly go”
Acts chapter 14 records Paul and Barnabas on their 1st missionary journey. They became world travelers discovering new lands and peoples. To borrow a phrase, they were “boldly going where no man has gone before”. Paul would in in 2 Cor. 5:20 describe his journey as being “ambassadors for Christ.” Here in verses 106 we discover his method, his message so that we can duplicate this in our explorations to the far away lands of human hearts. Through out this Journey we see six principles to “boldly going!”
- First, in verse 1 we read that Paul and Barnabas shook off the dust of the rejection and traveled 80 miles to Iconium. But why Iconium? The Romans were great road builders, and as they left Antioch they were faced with a great decision; for the road known as the Via Sebastos branched into two directions right at the edge of town. One went north 120 miles to the Roman colony of Comana. The other went southeast to this Greek city Iconium. The point is that to be effective in reaching our world for Jesus we need to: BE LED BY THE SPIRIT: The Roman city would have meant more comfort and it would have been more modern. But God led them to the sticks!
- Second, Iconium was a Greek city but we are told that it had quite a few Jewish people living there as they had a synagogue. That leads me to the second point about how to be effective in reaching our world for Jesus: START WITH WHAT YOU KNOW: Paul and Barnabas went right back to a synagogue and spoke to those who were the most familiar with the message, the Jews and gentile converts. Look for area of interest where you can begin to plug in the truths of Jesus.
- In verse 2 we are told that in the synagogue Paul didn’t alter the message because of the lack of the results or the persecution in the place! That leads to the third point about how to be effective in reaching our world for Jesus: THE MESSAGE MUST BRING OUT A RESPONSE: Paul could see that the message was hitting home because of both of the reactions, positive and negative.
- In verse 3 we see how Paul and Barnabas handled this opposition. That brings us too the fourth point on how to be effective in reaching our world for Jesus: BE CONSISTANT NO MATTER WHAT OTHERS SAY: We are not told how the minds of the folks of Iconium became poisoned but Paul did not allow that to stop him from speaking of the truth, not even if they made false accusation against him.
- Next in verse 3 it says that, “they were speaking boldly in the Lord, the Word of His grace and the Lord was bearing witness to the Word of grace by signs and wonders. That brings us to the fifth point on how to be effective in reaching our world for Jesus: DON’T TRY TO SENSATIONALIZE THE TRUTH: Folk’s we don’t need to worry about trying to make Jesus and His word more exciting, let God do what He wants to do in supporting His truth.
- Finally, in verses 4-6 we see that they stayed there as long as they could until they were forced to leave. That leads to the sixth point on how to be effective in reaching our world for Jesus: NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF YOUR JOB: Paul and Barnabas stayed as long as there was an opportunity to proclaim the Word of grace. But when the doors closed they were not too proud to leave.