Google+ 07/23/13 Are We Jealous?

Acts 13:44-46

 

The following week almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach the word of the Lord.

But when some of the Jews saw the crowds, they were jealous;

So they slandered Paul and argued against whatever he said.

Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and declared,

“It was necessary that we first preach the word of God to you Jews.

But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life,

We will offer it to the Gentiles.

 

This is part one of a two-part devotion series on one of the most dangerous, satanic emotions that can possess our minds.  Jealousy is the reason that God does not compare and asks us to never do it.  The Bible is so wise with instructions in this area and there are many examples of what happens when jealousy rears its ugly head.  In our Scripture today, Luke is sharing the success that Paul is having preaching to the Gentiles.  Let's review for a minute.  If you don't remember or know, Paul used to be Saul.  As mentioned in previous devotions, Saul was the "hit-man" for the Roman government.  Anytime the Romans wanted any outspoken Christian removed from the landscape, they contacted Saul.  If not for prophecy being fulfilled as it applied to the way Jesus was to die, Saul would have probably been the person called upon to eliminate Him.  Saul was ruthless.  Satan was having his way with Saul.  Then, there was the stoning of Stephen.  As a bold Christian, Stephen stood before the Sanhedrin, having been accused of preaching the gospel of Jesus.  What does Stephen do?  He testifies in front of the Sanhedrin about Jesus and is sentenced to death by stoning.  Saul is present for this stoning and the testimony.  We are not sure exactly what Saul's role was at this stoning, but at the very least he was recognized as being in charge of some aspect of it, as all of the garments of those attending were left at Saul's feet.  Soon after this encounter, Saul has his Damascus road experience and the scales are removed from his eyes.  Saul becomes Paul.  So, Paul's troubles are over, correct?  After all, he becomes the man God wants him to be.  The great news is Paul has become right with God.  Unfortunately, his fellow man and God's supposed chosen race are now jealous and Paul's troubles have just begun!  Our Scripture today tells us how jealous the Jews were and what they did.  Before we go on with part two of our devotion series, we all need to ask a serious question.  The answer will be in part two and will probably change your answer to this question.  Are We Jealous?