Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper – March 10, 2022

By March 10, 2022 No Comments


THURSDAY, MARCH 10

 

22 where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. 23 Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

Acts 14:22-23 (NLT)

 


 

GETTING OVER HURDLES: ENCOURAGEMENT

 

One of the old Scotch martyrs had on his crest the motto, Sub pondere cresco (“I grow under a weight”). On the crest was a palm tree, with weights hanging from its fronds. In spite of the weights, the tree was straight as an arrow, lifting its crown of graceful foliage high up in the serene air. It is well known that the palm grows best loaded down with weights. Thus this martyr testified that he, like the beautiful tree of the Orient, grew best in his spiritual life under weights. This is the universal law of spiritual growth. There must be resistance, struggle, conflict, or there can be no development of strength. (J R Miller).

 

Paul and Barnabas knew that the new disciples would face “many hardships.” They also knew the new Christians needed to have their faith nurtured to maturity, or to use Luke’s phrase their souls need to be strengthened, they need to be encouraged to continue in the faith and they need to be warned that they will encounter tribulations. David Jeremiah wrote, “Paul was not seeking converts only, but disciples… And that should be our goal in the church today as well. We are not about baptizing new Christians as if they were notches on the handle of our Gospel gun, statistics to make us look good in the year-end accounting. Instead, we are about seeing lives transformed.”

 

Reflection

A key to overcoming spiritual hurdles is spiritual strength. At one point, the disciples prayed and fasted. How do you think prayer and fasting can strengthen you spiritually?

 

Praise/Prayer

Thank God for the process of making you stronger even when it’s tough. Ask God to show you who you can encourage today.

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