Eternal Life Cycle
Angie Papadakis said, “A baby has a way of making a man out of his father and a boy out of his grandfather.”1 It’s thrilling to be a link in the ongoing chain of life. God uses those with eternal life to reach others with the message of eternal life. That’s the eternal life cycle.
The Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2, NIV). God similarly calls us to bear much fruit that will last (John 15: 8,16). He sends most of us to bear spiritual fruit among our friends, relatives, and associates.
How do we do that? When Barnabas and Saul arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God. They talked about who Jesus is, what He has done, and the response God requires.
To bear much fruit that will last, we must talk about Jesus. Witnessing through how we live is necessary. But it’s not sufficient. The God who empowers us to do what’s right empowers us to bear witness.
When we talk about Jesus, the response is mixed. Sergius Paulus, a government official in Cyprus, wanted to hear the word of God. Some people are open to hearing about Jesus. Yet, Satan always opposes the delivery and reception of the message. In Cyprus, Bar-jesus sought to turn Sergius Paulus away from the faith (v. 8). Satan opposes us when we talk about Jesus. We can’t let that paralyze us.
Paul preached in the synagogue to Jews and God-fearing Gentiles. He began where they were. He attempted to move them toward a relationship with Jesus. He used God’s promises to David and his descendants as a bridge to the good news.
Jesus is the messianic deliverer from David’s line. He was slain (v. 28), buried (v. 29), resurrected (v. 30), and seen by many witnesses (v. 31). Through Jesus is forgiveness of sins and justification for everyone who believes (vv. 38–39).
The Gentiles begged Paul to preach again the following Sabbath (v. 42). But the Jews stirred up opposition against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their coasts.
These Gentiles who believed in Jesus became part of the eternal life cycle. They published the word of the Lord throughout the whole region. They were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit (v. 52). Those who are filled with the Holy Spirit talk about Jesus. That’s essential to bear much fruit that will remain. I know I can do a better job of talking about Jesus. How about you?
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