Shaking the Dust
Daily Bible Reading – Leviticus 15-17; Acts 18
Today’s Key Passage – Acts 18:1-11
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth, which at the time was the most important city in Greece. While there, he continued to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people and spoke the truth to them. The Jews in Corinth who were sinning did not want to hear the truth, though, so they “opposed Paul and became abusive“. Paul was once again being persecuted for speaking the truth, and he “shook out his clothes in protest” to the Jews. Paul, who was arguably the best preacher of all time, faced rejection like this often. As good as he was at preaching the Gospel, there were times when he simply could not get his message across to people. Sometimes the people he faced had hardened their hearts to the point where they were simply unable to hear the truth in his message. More often than not, sinners “hate the one who reproves in court and despise him who tells the truth.” (Amos 5:10), so Paul would find himself being abused and persecuted. In this case, Paul followed an important lesson taught by Jesus himself and “shook out his clothes in protest”.
Jesus knew all about rejection. He constantly faced rejection from others because of his teaching, and we can learn an important lesson in how He handled that rejection. When people asked Jesus to leave a town, He did not try to argue with them. He simply left and moved on. When the rich young man refused Jesus offer to sell everything and follow Him, Jesus did not chase after him and try to convince him. Jesus simply let him leave. When Jesus was sending out his disciples to serve, He taught them this important lesson. He told them, “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.” (Matthew 10:14).
When we speak the truth in love, we will sometimes face rejection. When we attempt to lead someone to Christ, we might not immediately succeed. When we attempt to correct another person who is sinning, we might not immediately succeed. We might even be persecuted for our efforts – probably not physically but emotionally. We might be mocked and ridiculed by others. We might be called judgmental for speaking the truth. People might use our past sins prior to being saved against us or even make up lies about us to try to diminish our witness. The fact is that not everyone we share the Gospel with will listen, and Jesus’ lesson is for us to go elsewhere and “shake the dust”. There are many times when we might be tempted to chase after these people, but more often than not, that will only lead them further away from God. When we try to “hold onto the dust” of others, it will only serve to discourage us and might even make us less likely to share our faith in the next situation. Do not let a little rejection come between you and your service to Christ. Remember His words to Paul – “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you”.
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Posted on February 11, 2015, in 05 - Acts and tagged Bible, Christian, Conflict, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, Evangelism, God, Jesus, Judgment, Perseverance, Religion, Service. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.