One of the features of Paul’s ministry that continually intrigues me is his constant movement from one place to another. He rarely stayed in one place more than a few months, yet he accomplished so much in a little over ten years, covering over 11,000 miles, without any of the modern conveniences we have today.
Let me get to my point. In Acts 18, we see Paul leave Athens, travel to Corinth, about 55 miles, and spend two months there. He leaves Corinth via Cenchrea which is a seaport very near to Corinth. He then sails to Ephesus to see the disciples there for a short time and then sails southeast to Caesarea which is just north of Jerusalem. From this seacoast town, he heads north by land to Antioch, the place where he was originally sent out from by the Holy Spirit with Barnabas (13:1-4).
“After spending some time there [Antioch], he departed and went from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples” (18:23).
Notice how intentional Paul is as he goes from one place to another. Churches had been planted on his first and second missionary journey, but he returned according to the “will of God” (18:21) for the purpose of “strengthening all the disciples” (18:23). Helping these disciples become strong in their faith and the Gospel was critical for Paul and them. He would not always be able to keep visiting these churches. At some point they would need to stand on their own.
How are you doing where you are? You and I are not Paul, but as his Timothys, we can imitate the principles he used that worked to expand the Church and make sure the disciples in it are strong in faith, practice and in God’s purpose for the Church.
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