...first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Thoughts for Today:The Jews were God's chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6), "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession." If we had been present when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), we would have observed a room full of Jews -- no Gentiles.
On Paul's first missionary journey with Barnabas in Acts 13:44, he took the Gospel first to the Jews: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles."
However, the Lord's specific instruction to Paul given through Ananais in Acts 9:15 was in reverse order -- the Gentiles first, next their kings, and then the Jews. "The Lord said to Ananias, 'Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.'" Paul would keep trying to minister to the Jews first, and continued to be frustrated as a result. I believe this is how we sometimes get upset in our own ministries -- we don't understand or aren't obedient to the Lord's plan. We serve the Lord our way first -- not His way.
Questions to Ponder:The Lord's plan was for the Jews to hear the Gospel first, then the Gentiles. It just wasn't the Lord's plan for Paul. Have you been feeling a little frustrated in your service to the Lord? Is your ministry floundering a bit? Could it be that your priorities are out of order? Perhaps you have been influenced by someone else's ministry direction, which isn't yours. What were the Lord's instructions to you specifically?