“36 Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” (…) 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.” Acts 15:36, 40-41
This speaks so much to me! This is the passion of my heart. Strengthening the churches. So people can have a spiritual home and family, have community, grow as believers, know what belongs to them through the finished work of Jesus, equip them for ministry etc.
Acts 14:1-3 – “Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. 3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” Continue reading →
Once I met someone who was going through a very difficult time. She was struggling with suicidal thoughts, as she couldn’t see the meaning of life. Among other things, I shared with her about how much Jesus loves her, and I encouraged her to spend time in the Word. I prayed for her, and we agreed to meet the following week. – And when I met her again, she was totally changed. She was all smiles! She was enjoying life and found such joy spending time in the Word. I was amazed and asked her: “What happened?” After a few moments of pondering, she said: “I know a lot of people have been praying for me.” – I thought that was so profound, and was reminded of the power of prayer afresh. Continue reading →
Paul, the crew, and all the prisoners were in the midst of the storm, and all hope was seemingly gone as they didn’t see a way out – that’s when Paul took the bread, gave thanks, broke it, and ate – and they were encouraged and assured once again.
Just as the day was DAWNING, Paul urged EVERYONE to eat. “You have been so worried… Please EAT something NOW FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. For not a hair of your heads will perish.” Then he took some BREAD, GAVE THANKS to God before them all, and BROKE off a piece and ATE it. Then EVERYONE WAS ENCOURAGED.
Acts 27:33-36 NLT
Partake of the bread and wine today, give thanks for the cross – and be greatly encouraged. He is the way out. He bore your judgment so you could be immensely blessed.
Paul is still imprisoned. But what was meant to judge and execute him, became his PLATFORM to preach the good news to kings and mighty leaders of the Roman Empire! He is actually – in imprisonment – living out what God had planned for his life. To bear His Name to the Jews, the Gentiles, and kings. (Acts 9:15) Isn’t that amazing?
I speak that over us today, that the very circumstance that seems to be an obstacle to us, that seems worthy of our complaints, that stresses us – maybe, just maybe, that is our very platform to show His love, His grace, His wisdom and healing to the people that He loves so deeply.