Read Acts 14:12 – 20
“Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.”
– Acts 14:18 – 19
In this passage, the disparity of response is striking and clear. On one hand, they had immense popularity; so much so that it was wrong. Yet, there was ever-present opposition. After trying to get people to stop worshipping him, he was stoned and left for dead.
It is also striking that the disciples came (in verse 20) and formed a circle around him so that he got up and went back into the battle.
This biblical drama outlines so many roles of those around us as we ‘fight the good fight’ against the kingdom of darkness. Do you ever wonder why ministry has to be so hard, and yet so exhilarating? I have.
Through today’s passage, we see the importance of the very venue that you are engaged in right this moment. Do you fee like you’ve been stoned and left for dead? Perhaps you are not experiencing the exciting side and you feel like you are bruised and left alone. Could we as “web colleagues” form a circle around you to offer strength and encouragement to get up and go back into the battle (as in verse 20)?
If you are one that has not been “stoned” lately, will you join in the circle as a “strength-giver”? In God’s mercy, He eventually allows all of us to experience opposition in order to build character and beauty.
Let’s take the example of the disciples today and help each other prepare for the battles that we face.
How can we encourage you?
I first sensed God’s call into full-time vocational ministry in 1984. Since then, God has taken me from children’s minstries, to singles, women, and eventually camp ministries. In each place, I have led prayer groups and discipled individuals, which has provided blessing and support. I have had many opportunities to train, nuture, and watch many young leaders take their wings in ministry and soar. It has been truly exciting. I have had the priviledge of becoming a mother which has been a training venue like no other. Now, I live in the Sunny Shuswap with my family as I study for a PhD in Educational Psychology. I continue to lead small groups and disciple other women in their walk with the Lord. I desire to challenge and inspire others to live far above the mediocre and reach their fullest potential in the Lord for the rest of my life.