When I read today's reading I receive three distinct messages. Let's have a look at these messages.
The first message was in verses 19 and 20. The crowd stoned Paul and left him for dead. But Paul, to may amazement, got up and went back to continue preaching the gospel. Now I do not know about you, but if a crowd tried to kill me I am not sure I would rush back in to continue my preaching. I would probably say to myself that these people are not worth saving and move on. However, Paul's action demonstrates to us that we should not live to please the crowd, but we should put our trust in God and do the task he has given us to do.
The second message regards new converts and the need to encourage them. Paul and Barnabas showed us in verses 21 and 22 that they had, and thus we have, a responsibility to encourage new believers. No matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable this task may seem, we are called to support new believers and provide encouragement. After all it was not convenient or comfortable for Jesus to go to the cross for us.
The third message has to do with supporting leaders. God calls leaders when he needs to move His flock in a given direction. Moses is a great example of someone who was called, or anointed, to be the leader to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Churches fulfill God's calling through the guidance of Spirit-led leaders - both ordained and lay. It is our obligation to support the leaders God has called forward and to pray for them. It is the leaders duty to humbly accept the responsibilities of this task they were called to do and to always seek and follow the will of God.
I hope you agree that these three messages stand out in today's reading. I pray that these messages, like all the messages in the Bible, take root in your live and mine.
Wishing you the best in your walk with Christ,