Saturday, September 2, 2023
But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble. The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind. Those escorting Paul went with him all the way to Athens; then they returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him.
Paul, Silas, and Timothy had been run out of Thessalonica before coming to Berea.* Once their enemies realized they had gone to Berea, these adversaries made the 50 miles (80 km) trip along the Ignatian Way and caused trouble in Berea. The new followers of Christ immediately escorted Paul, the clear leader of the team, to Athens. Silas and Timothy remained behind to continue to strengthen the new Berean disciples. What I love about Luke's sharing of this story is the beautiful grace of fellowship told so simply. These new believers didn't send Paul on his way alone; they escorted him. When we make Jesus our Lord, we are joined together as a family. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We support each other, whether new disciples or old ones. We share life regardless of times being good or difficult!
* See the Related Scripture Readings for more insight on these troubles.
O God, forgive me for not living in my relationships with my brothers and sisters in Christ more passionately. Draw me into deep fellowship as I seek to live your "each other" and "one another"** principles more passionately. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
** The number of times we find this expression in the New Testament is challenging for our "go to church" mentality in modern Christianity. Here are just a few examples: John 13:34; Romans 12:16, 14:13; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Galatians 6:2; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:9, 3:13; James 4:11, 5:9. (The NLT and some other translations have "each other" while the NIV and still other translations have "one another.")
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.
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