Even though the wounds from being dragged into prison and beaten at Philippi are still visible and sore, Paul and Silas do not deviate from their mission; to preach Jesus Christ where He had not been heard before. Their boldness incited “wicked men of the rabble to form a mob” saying that “these men…have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:5-6). Now that is a reputation I would love to have! Actually, for those who receive the message of the gospel, their world is given a right side up perspective.
What these two men left behind them is what is important. They planted the living gospel of Jesus Christ and those in Thessalonica who received it, “not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5).
Paul and Silas are “immediately sent…away by night to Berea” (Acts 17:10) because their lives were in danger. What then about these new converts? There was no one left behind to disciple them. Here is where we must learn to trust the Spirit’s work. These new believers were so powerfully taught by Him that they “became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia” (1 Thessalonians 1:8). I am afraid that we limit the Spirit’s work through us because we can’t release what God has done through us to Him! Christian doctrine will take shape in hearts as we put converts in the hands of the Holy Spirit. This works hand-in-hand with discipling.
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