Take some time now to reflect on your current relationship status with Christ. How are things between you? Talk it out with him.
Read Acts 14:21–28
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 for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. 24 After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia, 25 and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
26 From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. 27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow often do you take time to reflect on your actions in matters relating to your own life or that of your church?
The apostles retrace their steps and take very seriously the need to review what they have achieved over the course of their journey. Luke brings the “first missionary journey” to a satisfying conclusion by rehearsing the place-names with which we have become familiar. Notice what the apostles’ experiences had encouraged them to see as of first importance (22).
Notice also how prayer and fasting comes back into the picture as essential to the spiritual well-being of both apostles and converts, just as it had been at the very beginning of the enterprise (23; 13:2,3).
Finally, in this semi-blueprint for mission activity, Luke points out that the apostles reported back (27). Gathering the church together, they seem to have given them a full account of what had taken place. The church was well-informed, involved, praying, fasting, committed—exactly what returning missionaries in any era would give a lot for. The effort to achieve this would appear to be shared on both sides of the operation.
Get involved in a mission project with your church. If there isn’t one, look into starting a movement!
Lord, what would you have me do? How can I encourage Your people to reach out to those who do not know You?
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