19 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. 20But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe. 21They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22strengthening 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. 23Paul 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 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he hadopened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples.
- Paul believed that the purpose of ministry was to “strengthen believers’ souls” (v22) and “equip the saints” (Eph 4:12-13). We are commanded by Jesus not only to make disciples, but also to teach them to obey everything that Jesus commanded. This is the “Great Omission from the Great Commission” in many churches.
- How much do you know of the various Equipping opportunities at your church? What have you been committed in?
- Recalling your own Christian journey, how much equipping have you received? Are you willing to receive training for spiritual growth and ministry preparation?
- This “260 Appointments with God” is an Equipping opportunity. Thank the Lord for this exercise, and pray that God will help you persevere to the finish line.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Saul has changed his name to Paul. Look up a Bible dictionary to find out the meaning of Saul, and Paul. Do the two meanings match who Saul and Paul were before and after he met Jesus? What’s the meaning of your name? Pass the Family Devotional Journal for each to write or draw meaning of their names. Pray that God will help them to live up to their namesake.
Prayer & Journaling: On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today 13:19-21
19 A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools. 20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. 21 Disaster pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good.