Today, I read in Acts 18 about a transition in the ministry of the Apostle Paul. Paul was ministering to a group of people who responded by opposing and reviling him (Acts 18:6.) I was very interested in Paul’s response.
So often in the Church today, it seems as if we feel our job is to keep chasing after and “converting” (or at least “convincing”) people who respond by opposing and reviling us. Yet, Paul’s answer to such opposition was to “shake the dust from his clothes” and go and minister to someone else (Acts 18:6.) As a result, Paul’s gifts of ministry were utilized more effectively by God, who sent Paul a vision reinforcing this change in direction. (Paul ended up spending 18 months performing effective ministry to a different group of people who lived in the same city as those who had opposed and reviled him.)
Paul’s response got me wondering: did Jesus spend much time chasing after people who didn’t want to listen to him? I can’t recall any examples in scripture where that was the case. I remember plenty of times in which Jesus gave a simple command for as person to follow or sin no more or do something specific, after which Jesus moved onto the next person and left it up to those he had encountered to make the choice to follow or not.
So…here’s my question for you to consider and discuss today: how do you think God wants us to spend our time – constantly chasing after people who don’t listen or spending more time with people who respond to our initial efforts with a hunger and thirst for God? – Pastor Brad