God’s encouragement!

Scripture reading for June 27th: Acts 18:1-21

The apostle Paul always seemed to get in trouble as he preached about Jesus Christ in the synagogues.  After leaving Athens and the confrontation with the intellectuals on Mars Hill, Paul went to Corinth and again went to the synagogue.  There he encountered some interest at first, but soon was being opposed by some abusive Jews.  Paul did as Jesus instructed, shaking out his clothes and stating, “Your blood be on your own heads!  I am clear of my responsibility.  From now on I will go to the Gentiles!” (Acts 18:6)

He went next door to the house of a man named Titius Justice, who was a worshiper of God.  This means that he was a Gentile seeker who had attended the synagogue.  Paul used his house to preach and the synagogue ruler Crispus and his entire household was saved!  Many others were saved and baptized! (Acts 18:7-8)

Sometimes leaders need fresh vision and encouragement.  Even though we are living life one day at a time, we need to know that we are in line with where God wants us.  Sometimes we can feel His pleasure, but other times we feel opposition and even fear.  God knew that Paul needed encouragement to stay in Corinth for a more extended period of time so He gave him a vision.  “Don’t be afraid; keep on speaking, don’t be silent.  For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” (Acts 18:10) Many of God’s mighty saints struggled with fear.  The Holy Spirit gave them great boldness and vision and words of encouragement to keep them on track. Paul stayed in Corinth teaching for a year and a half.

As Paul left there, he went back to many of the churches he had started and encouraged them.  He had a ministry of encouragement and disciple making that was ordered by his commitment to listen to the Holy Spirit.  When asked by some Jews at Ephesus to stay and spend more time, he declined.  He told them that he would come back if it was the Lord’s will.  (Acts 18:21)  God knows how to direct His disciples.  We are all on a directed journey to accomplish God’s will and must finish our course!  Are you listening to the Holy Spirit today?

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