Shake off the Dust

And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.  But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.  but they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.  And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 13:49-52

Paul and Barnabas were constantly preaching the gospel to anyone who would listen.  Some listened and some did not.  But they continued to preach His Word.  In this area, they preached and the Jews decided to stir up trouble.  They stirred up many people against Paul and Barnabas and eventually had them persecuted and finally expelled from their area.  Being persecuted and kicked out of a place would make most us hesitate to continue preaching.  But it did not stop Paul and Barnabas.  They just kept right on going.

Verse 51 tells us that they “shook off the dust of their feet against them…”  We find the Lord Jesus Himself giving instructions to do just that in Matthew, Mark and Luke.  Luke 9:5 says “And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.”

Sometimes we need to do the same thing.  It’s never pleasant or enjoyable to be rejected when talking about the Lord.  But we have to remember that people are not rejecting us, they are rejecting the Lord.  The Lord sees what is happening.  He knows and He will judge.  We just need to do what we are supposed to do.  It’s not easy to preach the gospel to people who do not want to hear it.  But each time we get knocked down, we need to get up, shake off the dust, and move on.  It worked for Paul and Barnabas and it will work for us.

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