READING: Nehemiah 9:38-11:21, Acts 14:8-28
None of us serves Christ alone. We’re members of God’s Body, and each of us fits into that Body as God wills. Through our brothers and sisters in Christ, we find strength to press on in following Christ.
Paul and Barnabas recognized this truth, and they took seriously their responsibility to engage the churches they planted. Having preached the gospel and made disciples in Derbe, Paul and Barnabas then “returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 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” (Acts 14:21-22). In fact, they went back to cities where their opponents had persecuted them—but that’s evidence of how important they believed follow-up, discipleship, and leadership development were. They who themselves had been persecuted came back to encourage other believers to remain faithful.
Regardless of our setting, all of us need others who strengthen our souls, encourage us to remain faithful, and remind us that we’ll face tribulations as we follow Christ. At the same time, each of us needs to do the same for others.
PRAYER: “God, I praise You for friends in Christ who encourage me. Help me to be an encourager today.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Nehemiah 11:22-13:31, Acts 15:1-29