Wednesday, February 7

Courage and disciple making

Scripture: Exodus 25-26, Acts 14

Acts 14:2–3 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

Acts 14:21–22 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Observation

The apostles’ courage is remarkable. Their opponents “poisoned the minds” of the crowds, turning them against the apostles, ultimately resulting in a plot to kill them. The apostles’ response: “So they remained there a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord.” Eventually they moved on, but notice the juxtaposition in v. 2-3 of the crowd turning against them and their remaining a long time and preaching boldly. That’s courage!

In each of these towns, the apostles ended up fleeing for their lives. But then they returned to each one on their journey home in order to strengthen the disciples. They walked back into the lion’s den. That’s courage! 

And notice that they preached the gospel and made many disciples, the very thing Jesus sent us to do in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). These two things—courage and making disciples—go hand in hand.

Application

I want to be more courageous in sharing the gospel, which means getting out of my bubble and into spaces that aren’t necessarily welcoming to the gospel message. And by doing that, I want to make many disciples!

I’m at a meeting M-W and several people have made comments to me about sharing the gospel and evangelism. I see this string of unrelated comments as the Lord whispering to me, “Get out there and mix it up in the public space and make disciples.” I live so much of my life in the church bubble!

Prayer: Lord, take me where You want me, and give me the courage to speak the gospel boldly and make many disciples.