He Never Gave Up
23 October 2016
Reading: Job 11; Acts 17-18
4 Each Sabbath found Paul at the synagogue, trying to convince the Jews and Greeks alike. 5 And after Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul spent his full time preaching and testifying to the Jews, telling them, “The Messiah you are looking for is Jesus.” (Acts 18:4-5 NLT)
Even though the Jews, especially the Pharisees, Paul’s own denomination, were responsible for most of the opposition and suffering Paul experienced, he never gave up on telling them about Jesus. Whenever Paul visited a new community, his first priority was to locate and visit the Jewish synagogue and share the Good News about Jesus, the Messiah.
The Jews opposed and insulted him as he spoke about Jesus in the synagogue in Corinth so he finally said,“…Your blood be upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” (Acts 18:6 NLT). Yet later, when he arrived in Ephesus, the very first thing he did was to go to the synagogue and try to tell Good News of Jesus to the Jews.
Much later, in his letter to the Romans, Paul said,“2 My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief 3 for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.” (Romans 9:2-3 NLT) That is deeply unconditional love and passionate persistence!
It’s so tempting to just give up on some people! It’s easier to just write some people off than to keep trying with them, whether it’s a neighbor whose kids leave toys and junk all over the sidewalk or whose dog keeps you awake at night—whether it’s someone you just can’t get along with, whether it’s someone who just seems to always be there opposing you—it’s easier just to write some people off.
Is there someone in your world you sometimes feel like giving up on or simply writing them off? Pray this prayer with me…
Father, Please help me not to ever give up on people or write people off. Work in me to make me more like Paul, who had become very much like Jesus, in his unwillingness to ever give up on people. I hope some day, someone can say of me, “He never gave up on me!” In Jesus name, Amen!