The ministry of the Apostle Paul is often spoken of in terms of his “missionary journeys.” There are actually four of those recorded in the book of Acts.
After the first missionary journey comes to a close Paul and Barnabas end up back where they began, in Antioch. This served as a sort of homecoming and a place of needed rest for the two weary travelers.
After a quick trip to Jerusalem to meet with the Apostles, the two met with the congregation in Antioch and after a short time Paul said to Barnabas, “let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” At this point, Paul and Barnabas get into a heated debate over John Mark and separate – but that’s for another day.
Basically, Paul deemed it necessary to return to the newly founded churches full of new converts in pagan places and to encourage and exhort those brothers and sisters in the faith. In other words, he sought to strengthen these congregations of believers so that their faith would bear witness to the greatness of their Lord and Savior!
For the past several weeks we have been engaging in a series we have called “Stronger: Developing Spiritual Disciplines.” Not unlike our first-century brothers and sisters in the Roman world, we too see the power of sin and the evidence of a godless culture all around us. We even often bemoan the realities of our culture but deem ourselves incapable of faithful witness to the power and glory of Christ Jesus.
That’s where this sermon series comes in and the reason for the mid-series check-in. If you haven’t been joining us for worship, I want to encourage you to go back and view the messages from this past month and begin making plans to join with your brothers and sisters at EBC as we continue to strive to “walk in a manner worthy of our calling in Christ Jesus.”
If you’re on social media there is also a private Facebook group where there are daily interactions highlighting ideas on where to begin or ways to reinforce the disciplines that have been addressed the week before. Brothers and sisters, we have been called to a work that is of eternal significance and far beyond our own strength. Therefore, let us grow stronger so as not to grow weary in following our beloved Savior and Lord!