Saturday, February 23, 2008

Day 20 - 28 Day Challenge

Encouragement, Friendship & Hardship

Although Paul had experience some incredible difficulties in his ministry he was an incredible man of encouragement. (v2) In the course of his ministry he had been lied about, his words distorted, imprisoned, betrayed, beat up, stoned and left for dead. Think I would have packed it in along the way. Not Paul he inspired people with new hope.

This kind of ministry is so vital at a time when its so easy to quit. Paul refused to quit no matter what.

Paul was then guided by God to go to Jerusalem admitting that he wasn't clear on God's plan but knew it was a difficult time ahead. (v22) This was faith and obedience combined. Too often we want chapter and verse before we do anything. Our normal attitudes is God we want to know where this is going to end up. To obey even when we don't know what is going to happen and even when the ending does not look good is a test.

Its also clear that Paul was a man that valued his friendships. Saying goodbye to his fellow ministers was excruciating for him. He wasn’t just some professional who stood aloof from people they got inside his heart and clearly an wonderful bond of friendship flourished. This picture of friendship is so important. (v37 - 38).

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