As a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, you have been called by Almighty God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and instructed by the Word of God to serve others and share the Gospel. But whether you are church planting, serving as a pastor, serving in another nation, teaching Sunday School, ministering to a neighbor, or leading your family to follow the Lord, we can all become fearful, anxious, and doubtful about the ministry the Lord has set before us.
Acts 18 gives insight into how the Lord encouraged the Apostle Paul as he served.
And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” – Acts 18:9-10 (ESV)
Acts 18:9–10 provide three points of encouragement for us as we serve the Lord:
1. DO NOT BE AFRAID.
There can be various causes for us to be fearful, discouraged, or overly cautious. A sense of threat may be from internal or external forces. Regardless, take to heart the exhortation to serve boldly and courageously. Do not be afraid.
2. DO NOT BE SILENT.
We must preach the Word, in season and out (2 Timothy 4:2). We are stewards of the Gospel truth.
But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? – Romans 10:14 (HCSB)
3. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
We are blessed with the Lord’s presence. We are His Holy Spirit -indwelt and -empowered people. We are also members of the household of God (1 Timothy). We stand together on God’s Word. We kneel together as watchmen of the wall. We walk together in the grace and truth of Christ.
Personally, as I have read and studied the Bible, I have noted the numerous times the Apostle Paul mentions his co-laborers—his loved ones in Christ— by name. Paul was not perfect when it came to relationships, friendships, or partnerships. But he did seem to be persistent, purposeful, and prayerful. I pray that you will know that you are not alone as you serve the Lord. I pray that God will strengthen your fellowship in the church and make a place of service clear to you. I pray that pastors and church planters will have brotherhood with one another. I pray that your church will know that you are not alone.
Pray for SBC of Virginia churches as we seek to be a Gospel partnership that strengthens, mobilizes, plants, and revitalizes churches to make disciples of Christ.
Your brother in Christ,
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