|Photo by J C Merriman|
Scripture: Acts 14:3-4
Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; and some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.
Insights: There is a third lesson I learned on my hiking journeys through the Smokey Mountains. We would often times hike ten to fourteen miles a day in order to get to our next scheduled camp spot. Some days I would feel stronger than other days. Though this passage does not point to what I am about to mention, I do recall that on the days I was not strong someone else in our group would be and they would encourage me. As a result, I would make it to the end. On the days I was strong I would encourage the one who was week and because we did this, we always made it to our destinations. The point I was truly focusing on, however, is that ten to fourteen mile days calls for endurance. When we do something for a very long time, we need to endure. Paul and Barnabas had been in most locations a week or two, maybe three at the most. Here, however, the verse tells us they were there a long time speaking boldly and with reliance on the Lord. They may have felt as if they had arrived. There are a plethora of other emotions and thoughts they may have had. What I desire to point out is it takes endurance to do ministry in one location for any length of time. The average pastor stays at the local church just over three years. There are a lot of reasons for this fact, but what we know is if a pastor will endure to year five, things begin to change. They are then able to have some amazing fruit filled days. There are some amazing statistical information about the long tenured pastor. Beloved, even though I was referencing pastors in the preceding verses, the fact of endurance applies to you as well. We are all on this journey with the Lord. Many people fall down and never get back up. The cares of this world stop them from pressing on and experiencing more of Christ Jesus. To the one, however, who does press on and endure through the hard times of life or the dry times of life great joy is experience. Let me encourage you to press on and endure.
1. In what ways are you enduring with your faith?
2. Have you fallen down and not gotten back up?
Prayer: Father, Satan tries to trick us often and tell us it is not worth the endurance and fight. Strengthen my faith Lord and help me to walk valiantly with You through all the years. Amen.
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