Acts 14:19-23 Facing Our Responsibilities as Believers
19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe. 21 They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders a for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
Living God’s Word: Paul and Barnabas returned to visit the believers in all the cities where they had recently been threatened and physically attacked. These men knew the dangers they faced, yet they believed that they had a responsibility to encourage the new believers. No matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable the task may seem, we must always support new believers who need our help and encouragement. Whenever we do evangelism, we should have a clear strategy for follow-through care for new believers.
Words to Live By: The conclusion of Paul’s work in Lystra illustrates both suffering for the Gospel and the power of the Gospel. God’s people should expect opposition from a sinful world. Yet, the Gospel is crowned with success! It grants us entrance into God’s kingdom, while strengthening and encouraging us along the way.
Prayer: Lord, strengthen my soul so that in faith I may say, “Why should cross and trial grieve me? Christ is near With His cheer; Never will He leave me.” Amen. (LSB 756:1)
Living and Sharing the Word of God… because it matters!
Pastor Rod Lindemann
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The Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Words to Live by and Prayer: Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (2002). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Purchase a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible at www.cph.org or contact Rod Lindemann.
Living God’s Word: Adapted from Life Application, Barton, B. B. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.