MONDAY, MARCH 7
Finally, they returned by ship to Antioch of Syria, where their journey had begun.
The believers there had entrusted them to the grace of God
to do the work they had now completed.
Acts 14:26 (NLT)
Charles Swindoll writes, “In the 1940s, virtually everyone in America knew the name Norman Rockwell. The illustrations he drew for the Saturday Evening Post reflected the best of the American spirit during some of the nation’s most trying years. For the May 26, 1945, issue, he released one of his most endearing illustrations: “Homecoming G.I.” In this iconic scene, a soldier wearing faded green army fatigues stands in front of a brick tenement as excited family members and friends pour into the alley to welcome their hero home from the war. Everyone can find themselves somewhere in that painting: The weary returning soldier. The exuberant parents. The elated siblings. The joyous neighbors. The shy girlfriend-in-waiting. A lot of emotion accompanies the return of a traveler after a long time away from home, especially if that journey involved trials and hardship, conflicts and struggle.
Paul and Barnabas had left their homes in Syrian Antioch more than a year earlier to engage in an unusual kind of warfare. They battled supernatural forces on Cyprus and encountered spiritual enemies in the synagogues of Pisidia and Lycaonia. Paul’s brush with death in Lystra may have left him with injuries that would affect him for the rest of his life; each scar would have reminded him and his associates that they had been to battle and would likely face the enemy again. Without a doubt, morale improved for Paul, Barnabas, and their team when their itinerary carried them ever closer to home. Still, they had a long way to go and a great deal to accomplish along the way. (Swindoll’s Living Insights – Acts)
In the sermon, on Sunday, Mike explained how Paul and Barnabas are coming back home in Acts 14. It’s as if a baseball player is rounding third base and headed for home plate. In order to come back home, Paul had to overcome some major hurdles. But by the grace of God, he made it. This week we will review some of those hurdles and how we too can finish well.
Finishing well requires resilience. What hurdles are you facing? What would your life look like if you finished well?
Ask God to give you the resiliency you need to accomplish His will for your life.