Daily Devotional – Stoned in Antioch

Acts 14:22

22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Have you ever been watching TV and come across a preacher where his message is that if you just let Jesus into your heart that everything will be ok? Follow Jesus and you will get that job you want. Follow Jesus and you will get that wife or husband you want. Follow Jesus and you will get all the money one you want. In light of scripture, I often wonder how honest that message is. Today’s verse reminds us that following Jesus doesn’t always make this life posh and comfortable. Sometimes it’s hard.

For a little context, in the verses prior to this one Luke records that the Apostle Paul had been stoned, that is the people he was preaching to tried to kill him by pelting him with rocks. They stoned him to the point where the crowd thought he was dead. Then they drug his lifeless body outside of the city and left him there. Luke goes on to record that as the fellow  disciples that were with Paul went to get him he regained consciousness. Do you know what Paul did next? He took a night to sleep it off and the next morning he gathered the crew together and went to the next town to preach the good news of Jesus Christ to another group of lost souls.

In the context of Paul’s actions, what does this verse reveal to us? It suggests a couple things. First we must encourage one another to continue in the faith. I’m afraid that too often we compare our walk with others and find satisfaction when we are farther down the road than the next person.  We have to encourage and allow ourselves to be encouraged. Second, we need to recognize that following Jesus isn’t always big smiles and sandy beaches. We need to commit ourselves to dependency on Jesus. We have to understand that no matter what happens Jesus still bled for us so that at the end of this life no matter how difficult it may have been we will take our place in eternity. The place that has been prepared for us by the Father where there will be no more tribulation, no more pain, no more hurt. All that will remain will be the glory of a wonderful God and the King of Kings on the throne. That is the promise of the Gospel.

Be encouraged today Christian. Continue in the faith. Hold each other up. Pray for one another and hold fast to the image of your King!

Heavenly Father, thank you for your goodness. Thank you God that in every trial and storm you are there. Strengthen your people today God. Remind us that the goal is not the good life but rather the life eternal. Help us be well-springs of your good news and help us be mindful of those not yet seated at your table. Empower us to suffer for your name. We offer praise to you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Daily Devotional – Stoned in Antioch

  1. Bro,
    I was just reading something similar last night in this new book “Radical” by David Platt. The first chapter talks about what Jesus said we need to do to follow him and of course it’s more than just letting him into your heart it’s really kind of radical! Jesus tells his we must “eat his flesh and drink his blood”, “love our enemies” and “take up our cross”. Luke 9:57-62 is even called “The cost of following Jesus”. In these verses Jesus says “the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” so basically he was homeless and he said “let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God” to a man who wanted to go bury his father. To a man who wanted to say goodbye to his family Jesus said “No one who puts his hand on the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God”. The Gospels are full of other examples of the hard life you can expect to live if you follow Jesus. But as we all know it is a small price to pay for being able to enter the Kingdom and eternity with the Father.
    You are absolutely right about encouraging one another. Hebrews 10:24-25 says it all” 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” You also have a good point when talk about comparing our walks with others. I think it’s dangerous to become satisfied or “complacent” as I like to call it when thinking we are at a certain place in our walk. If anything we should feel like we are just getting started and have a long way to go. I think a lot of people (like me) fall into the trap of thinking they need to learn everything they can as soon as they can. This walk is a lifelong process and we should be striving for slow and steady progress. The Rabbit and Turtle story would be a perfect analogy for this. Another great thought provoking and self examining post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s