BIBLE READING: ACTS 14
1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
Whenever God is doing something great, there’s always individuals that are used by Satan to discourage and to divide. I absolutely believe that saved people cannot be demon possessed. I do believe that a Christian can be demon “oppressed”, but not “possessed”. However, there have been many times where I have seen Satan use even God’s people, to discourage those that are doing God’s will. Satan will use believers and nonbelievers if they let him. Here in this passage, “unbelieving” Jews had stirred up the Gentiles. We are given more detail of what that means. It means that they had “made their minds evil affected against the brethren”. That word “affected” literally means in the Greek to “injure”. Through their words and influence, they had literally brought an evil injury to the minds of many of the people. In verse four, we are told the result of that. The city became “divided”. So, in verse two and verse four, we see that these unbelievers DISTRACTED, DAMAGED, and DIVIDED a city against The Lord.
Here is our challenge for today. First, please don’t let anyone or anything injure your mind with wrong words, wrong thoughts, the wrong attitude, the wrong spirit, and the wrong way of thinking. It can happen. Before you realize it, your mind has been injured. The wrong people can get you stirred up about things that had not been issues till they brought it up. Then they affect the way you think and poison your psychological processing. Suddenly, you find yourself divided, confused, and unstable. You now don’t like people that you always loved. You now question the agenda of people you’ve always trusted. In the meantime, God is trying to do a work in your life and in the lives of those around you and junk like this always squelches it.
Second, please make sure that you are not the kind of person that injures the mind of others with your wrong words, thoughts, or attitude. Make sure that you don’t cause division in a church, a group, or a family because of your negative, cynical, prideful opinion. Would it not be horrible to be an individual that somehow brought division to a group that God was trying to unify. Wouldn’t it be horrible to damage the mind of an individual that God was trying to reach. Wouldn’t it be horrible to distract someone with our negative input that God is trying to build for His glory. That would be heart breaking.