Through many tribulations!
Scripture reading for April 23rd: Acts 14
Key Scriptures: Acts 14:19-22 “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the Gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they 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.”
God’s ways are not always our ways. Saul, when first converted on the Damascus road, was confronted by Jesus and repented and followed Him. He was told how much he would suffer for Christ’s Name, as he himself had caused suffering among God’s people. Now Paul and Barnabas were sent out by the Holy Spirit on a mission to reach lost souls. They preached and Jews, zealous for God, brought persecution and even now stoned Paul (Saul) to the point they though he was dead. The disciples gathered around his lifeless body, and Paul was raised up and continued preaching and even returning to the place where he was so stoned! He learned personally the truth that “through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of God.”
Acts 14:23 “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.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for this record of the tribulations of those beginning the mission of taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Strengthen me and Your people to stand firm and boldly proclaim Your Good News! Help us to rejoice in tribulations and trials, knowing that the testing of our faith brings patience.
Mark 10:29-30 “Jesus said, “Truly, I say unto you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for My sake and for the Gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.””