Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands. - Acts 14:3 NASB
Hmmm. What do you know about that? They Paul and Barnabas were hanging out in Iconium for an extended stay. This is one of those fun ‘therefores’ of the Word.
Why do folks do extended meetings today?
Well, sometimes it’s because the people demand more. They stay late into the night and are willing to listen to long nights of preaching, and will worship late into the night. So the organization ramps it up. Extend the meetings for another week, another month, maybe a year if the Lord continues to bless.
But if we chase this therefore back a couple verses, we’ll find the reason holding Paul and Barnabas in Iconium.
Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. - Acts 14:1-2 ESV
There was fruit, and then there was opposition.
What does our enemy do when the harvest starts coming in?
He turns up the heat. He plants suspicion—lies—fear.
And was do Paul and Barnabas do?
Preach the Word and let God Himself testify!
I love the way this verse reads:
they spent a long time there
with reliance upon the Lord,
who was testifying
to the word of
granting that signs and wonders
be done by their hands.”
What did God do? He allowed them to do signs and wonders.
Funny. Today when I hear about God allowing something, it usually something bad.
You know. God allowed me to crash into that telephone pole so I would learn this or that.
God allowed my mother to die of cancer so…
God allowed the attack on the World Trade Center because…
But look what God allowed—granted—(yes - I know it’s not exactly the same word, but you see what I’m getting at here?) them signs and wonders.
It was to confirm the word they were preaching in the face of harsh opposition.
God loves to show up and take our part when the heat is on.
Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
When the heat was on, God (Jesus) showed up in that furnace and granted them their freedom. The only thing that burned was their bondage—oh and their captors.
One more observation.
The signs and wonders were done by their hands. In other words. God didn’t blast a lightning bolt from the sky and do some magic. They laid their hands on the sick, or cast out demons, or multiplied the food, of shook off the snakes. They preached, then ministered the Kingdom of God in the midst of the opposition and God showed up.
And He’ll do it again today. You stand and preach and He’ll testify to your words by allowing you to do signs and wonders.
I’m stirring up my courage and looking for opportunities today. How ‘bout you?
Thanks for stopping by,
See you again soon.