Unstoppable! 'Strengthening Existing Churches' — Acts 16:1-5

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek. Timothy was well thought of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium, so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. In deference to the Jews of the area, he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before they left, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek. Then they went from town to town, instructing the believers to follow the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.

— Acts 16:1-5 NLT

Key Thought

New followers of Jesus sometimes are forgotten or neglected. These early church planters — Paul, Silas, and Timothy — refused to make that kind of mistake. They returned to places they had previously visited and encouraged the people with the news of the decisions made at the Jerusalem conference regarding Gentile Christians. They also took the time to strengthen and support these new believers' faith. These new believers had to stand on their own soon enough. Paul, Silas, and Timothy didn't leave their growth to chance!

Today's Prayer

Dear Father, open our hearts to new believers to include them in our fellowship. Use us to be an encouragement to them and help them grow in their faith. May they see your love in our expressions of fellowship and spiritual friendship toward them. Strengthen their resolve and faith through the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Hebrews 3:6-19, 10:19-25
  • 2 Corinthians 13:11-14; 1 Thessalonians 4:18, 5:11

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 16:1-5 NLT — Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek. Timothy was well thought of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium, so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. In deference to the Jews of the area, he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before they left, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek. Then they went from town to town, instructing the believers to follow the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.