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The Scriptorium

"Let It Be Known!"

We are appointed to be witnesses. Acts 13.13-41

On a Roll: Acts 13 (4)

Pray Psalm 69.1-4.
Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
Where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
Where the floods overflow me.
I am weary with my crying;
My throat is dry;
My eyes fail while I wait for my God.
Those who hate me without a cause
Are more than the hairs of my head;
They are mighty who would destroy me,
Being my enemies wrongfully;
Though I have stolen nothing,
I still must restore it.

Sing Psalm 69.1-4.
(Greensleeves: What Child Is This?)
“Save Me, O God, deep waters rise and threaten to undo Me!
No foothold in the mire I find; the floods must soon subdue Me.
Hear, Lord, My weary cry; My throat is parched, unclear My eye.
Foes long for Me to die and others’ debts are upon Me.”

Read Acts 13.1-41; meditate on verses 13-41.

Preparation
1. In what part of the Scriptures did Paul begin his sermon about Jesus?

2. What did Paul ultimately declare to those who heard him?

Meditation

This is a lengthy section, and, in the interest of space, I intend to survey it rather quickly. Paul and Barnabas – we note that the apostle’s name is now featured first (v. 13) – departed Cyprus and landed on the mainland of what is today Turkey. John bailed, for reasons unknown to us, but unacceptable to Paul (cf. Acts 15.37, 38). In Antioch of Pisidia, we find our team again in the synagogue, politely waiting to be invited to speak (vv. 14, 15).

Paul was ready. He began by commending their fear of God (v. 16). Building on what they already believed (vv. 17-22), he worked toward a brief explanation concerning Jesus (vv. 23-25). Then, more back-and-fill: He returned to their story line (vv. 26ff.) and connected Jesus to Abraham and the prophets, saying that the Jews in Jerusalem had missed the point of the Old Testament because they “did not know Him” (v. 27).

Next come the historical facts of the Gospel – John the Baptist, Jesus’ death and resurrection, His post-resurrection appearances. Then the Good News: What you’ve been waiting for and hoping for and longing for – restoration with God – has arrived! And it’s available through Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, seated with God on high, and calling all men everywhere to repent and believe the Gospel for the forgiveness of sins (vv. 26-39).

Then Paul issued a warning, straight out of the prophets: Listen up! Though you may not be able to believe what I’m saying, believe it anyway (vv. 40, 41). Paul was a master communicator. We always proclaim the Good News to people, and all people inhabit a story or worldview that makes sense to them for the moment. Our task is to show that Jesus is the culmination of all their hopes, the only One Who can make sense out of their lives and bring them lasting peace and joy. But we need to do this from within the Scriptures, speaking God’s Word to people who probably have little or no regard for it.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“Our task is to show that Jesus is the culmination of all their hopes, the only One Who can make sense out of their lives and bring them lasting peace and joy. But we need to do this from within the Scriptures, speaking God’s Word to people who probably have little or no regard for it.

And how do we do this?
How can we be prepared to speak from the Scriptures in a credible manner?
How will we know what the Scriptures say so we can easily speak these Words of truth?

Study. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2.15 KJV).
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119.11).
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3.16).
“Every word of God is pure…” (Prov. 30.5).

If we are daily reading the word of God, studying it, meditating on it, praying it into our hearts and lives, it becomes a part of us. It is the way we view all of life. It is what comes out of our mouths when we speak.

It is a comfort to note that in Paul’s sermon he said, “As it is written in the second Psalm” (Acts 13.33). Then he continued, and added a quote from God, “Therefore He also says in another Psalm…” (Acts 13.35). The verse is then stated but without naming the actual address of the Psalm.

“Paul was a master communicator.” And when Paul spoke, Scripture flowed. But it seems even Paul didn’t remember the exact chapter and verse all the time.

We should never be put off from speaking the truth of Scripture for fear that we might not be able to remember exactly where every word emanated from. The Holy Spirit will give us the words to say (Lk. 12.12).
We just need to be ready and willing to say them. Without fear and trepidation. Just like Paul.

“Let it be known!”

For reflection
1. Why is it so important that we spend daily time reading, meditating on, and studying the Word of God?

2. What can happen if we fail to pursue this discipline faithfully?

3. How can believers encourage one another in daily study of Scripture?

The great concern of convinced sinners is, to be justified, to be acquitted from all their guilt, and accepted as righteous in God’s sight, for if any is left charged upon the sinner, he is undone. By Jesus Christ we obtain a complete justification; for by him a complete atonement was made for sin. Matthew Henry (1662, 1714), Commentary on Acts 13.38-41

Pray Psalm 69.13-36.
Pray that God would free you from any lingering sins, that He would grant you mercy and grace for all your needs today, and that He would grant you a greater measure of salvation than you have ever known.

Sing Psalm 69.13-36.

(Greensleeves: What Child Is This?)
O Lord, we make our prayer to You; receive our words, O Savior!
Let lovingkindness see us through, and answer us with favor!
Lord, lift us above the mire; deliv’rance is our one desire!
Let not the floods conspire to swallow us forever!

Let heav’n and earth now praise You, Lord, the seas and all their creatures,
for You will save us by Your Word and build Your City’s features.
There we will with Jesus dwell and know His blessings full and well.
His glorious Name we’ll tell to every man and creature!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking theScriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.

Are you praying daily for revival, renewal, and awakening in our world? Our book Restore Us! shows you why you should and how you can. It includes prayer guides for personal or group use. You can order a free copy by clicking here.

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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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