The Right Question
Today’s reading: Acts 13:4-14:28
My selection: Acts 14:21-23
21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
My reflections: It was another roller-coaster time for Paul. He was driven out of Iconium, almost worshiped in Lystra after a man was healed, then stoned in Lystra when his enemies arrived.
What did he do? He went to Derbe briefly before returning to the site of the trouble, Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. Why? To strengthen the souls of the disciples, and to encourage them to continue in the faith. Paul told them that “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Paul was relentless in his ministry to the believers. He modeled the boldness and willingness to suffer that he preached to others.
My challenge: Are you growing in willingness to suffer for the gospel or do you seek to avoid dangerous and threatening situations? The work of the kingdom of God is advanced by faithful men and women who lose their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for willingness to risk suffering. Ask not “will I suffer if I do this?” but “will God be glorified if I do this?” That is the right question.
Tomorrow’s reading: Acts 15:1-17:9