Words of Grace


A few years ago, I had a conversation with someone very dear to me. It wasn’t a “Hey, let’s get coffee and catch up” conversation. It was an “I feel like there are things that need to be repaired and truth that needs to be told in our relationship” conversation. Going into the conversation, there was no way to know what she would say or if she would even show up. I just had to be faithful to initiate and to believe God was sovereign over it all. Although there is a reality that opposition may come when we speak the words of his grace, I know that, no matter what, God is there with me.

  • Have you ever had the opportunity to proclaim the truth of the gospel when you might face opposition?


14:1 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. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. 5 When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, 6 they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, 7 and there they continued to preach the gospel.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What happened when Paul and Barnabas proclaimed the gospel in the synagogue?
  2. Why would the unbelieving Jews respond as they did in verse two?
  3. How did Paul and Barnabas respond to this opposition?
  4. In the first century church, how did God arouse interest in and validate his gospel message(vs. 3)? Though it may look different today, in what ways does God still bear witness to the word of his grace, the gospel, through you?
  5. Do you ever struggle to believe that God will help you in your service to him as his disciple? In what ways does it encourage you to know that God is for you and wants to use you to share his gospel?


As believers today, we can’t back down because of fear of opposition—we are called to testify to God’s words of grace—in word and deed. His Word tells us that opposition will come. The question is how do we, as his disciples, respond to the opposition? Take some time to think about the “synagogues,” your spheres of influence, that the Lord puts you in as his disciple. Do you shrink back, or do you remain and speak boldly, as Paul and Barnabas did? Our courage to remain should spring forth from our faith that God will testify to his word of grace. Be encouraged that the gospel is God’s great power for salvation and it is greater than any opposition.

  • Ask the Lord for the faith and endurance to remain and speak or to act boldly for the gospel, even when you don’t see fruit or you face opposition.