They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned . . . strengthening the disciples. (Acts 14:21–22)
Expanded Passage: Acts 14:21–22
It is almost impossible to get some people to share their faith with others. The fears and excuses are many, and we usually surrender to them when we forget what the gospel does. It simply changes people’s lives.
Paul and Barnabas found themselves running the gauntlet of a missionary journey crisscrossing the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Asia. When they raised people up and released them to make more disciples, they didn’t just leave them; they returned to check in on them, encourage them, and spur them on towards more good things. Is there someone you need to loop back to today? It’s great to see large numbers of people come to the faith, but I’ve learned one of our weaknesses in the local church is sometimes we fail to follow up and follow through with people who have made commitments. Who needs to be reminded to stay the course, to remain true to the faith, and that in this life with Jesus there will be trouble?
Maybe they don’t need judgment or condemnation, but just encouragement to stay the course. I remember recently when someone checked in on me and how much it meant. Sometimes we are running on fumes, or life has knocked the wind out of us. We just need someone to speak into us and remind us that it is all worth it.
Reach out to someone who needs to be encouraged to remain faithful.
Santes Beatty is a husband and father who loves traveling, writing, cooking, and equipping leaders. He is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church and serves with parachurch organizations.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.