Unstoppable! 'The Relentless Work of Strengthening Disciples' — Acts 18:18-21

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Paul stayed in Corinth for some time after that, then said good-bye to the brothers and sisters and went to nearby Cenchrea. There he shaved his head according to Jewish custom, marking the end of a vow. Then he set sail for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him.

They stopped first at the port of Ephesus, where Paul left the others behind. While he was there, he went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews. They asked him to stay longer, but he declined. As he left, however, he said, "I will come back later, God willing." Then he set sail from Ephesus.

— Acts 18:18-21 NLT

Key Thought

Paul's movements all over the Mediterranean world amaze me. He never seemed to stop. He was always trying to reach people and places that had never heard of Jesus, yet was always careful to double back and strengthen new disciples. Despite having his eyes set on places he had never been, he ensured that the key churches in Antioch and Jerusalem were included in the work of reaching the world. In a time when churches — whether small or large or mega in size — seem to think about ministry only as it impacts themselves, let's pray and serve as people who are part of the world-wide people of Jesus. Let's use our influence to bless new believers while reaching out to unbelievers in places we've never gone. Jesus' last command in Matthew's Gospel was for us to make disciples by going, baptizing, and teaching new believers to obey all that he had commanded. How can we claim to be Jesus' disciples and refuse to have an emphasis and passion similar to Paul's for Jesus' mission?

Today's Prayer

Father, open our eyes to the opportunities to share Jesus and encourage new and weak congregations and disciples. Arouse us from our self-interest and awaken us to your worldwide mission of grace. I ask for this awakening in Jesus' name and for the sake of the lost world. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • John 4:1-42

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 18:18-21 NLT — Paul stayed in Corinth for some time after that, then said good-bye to the brothers and sisters and went to nearby Cenchrea. There he shaved his head according to Jewish custom, marking the end of a vow. Then he set sail for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him.

They stopped first at the port of Ephesus, where Paul left the others behind. While he was there, he went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews. They asked him to stay longer, but he declined. As he left, however, he said, "I will come back later, God willing." Then he set sail from Ephesus.

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.