In Acts 13, the Christian church had launched and was growing. Paul and Barnabas were worshipping God in their church when the Holy Spirit hand-picked them to venture out and preach the gospel in other countries. This would become known as Paul’s first missionary journey. Fast forward and we find Paul and Barnabas in a synagogue in a place called Antioch. After the usual readings from the books of Moses and from the Prophets, the people in charge of the service asked Paul and Barnabas if they had any words of encouragement for the people. Paul stood up and began preaching the gospel. The people must have loved it because they asked Paul and Barnabas to come back and teach them more the following week. As this portion of the story comes to a close, our two missionaries offer a word of encouragement that I would like to extend to YOU today. “…By God’s grace, remain faithful.” Acts 13:43
It is so simple yet so powerful. “By God’s grace, remain faithful.” You see, many of the people who listened to Paul’s preaching responded by deciding to follow Christ. And Paul knew the time would soon come when their newfound faith would be tested. So he encouraged them by simply saying, “By God’s grace, remain faithful.” The salvation and forgiveness they enjoyed was made possible by the grace of God and the grace of God alone. The strength they needed in the coming days would also be provided by God’s grace.
The strength, protection, wisdom, guidance, blessing and anointing that we each need will be provided by God’s grace. In our own strength and wisdom, we are ill-equipped and destined to fail. However, God’s grace shows up each and every day, providing us with exactly what we need in the moment and He sustains us with “His strong right hand.” All we have to do is embrace His grace and remain faithful.
Are you tired or frustrated and feel like quitting? By God’s grace, remain faithful.
Are you STILL waiting on guidance or direction from God on some aspect of your life and you are wondering if God has gone deaf? By God’s grace, remain faithful.
Are you overly anxious or worried about something to the point you have become physically ill? By God’s grace, remain faithful.
Are you hurting and wonder if the pain you feel will ever go away? By God’s grace, remain faithful.
Are you frustrated with your shortcomings and find yourself struggling with guilt? By God’s grace, remain faithful.
Is there something you have been trusting God for and with each passing day it feels like the answer to your prayer becomes less attainable? By God’s grace, remain faithful.
Whatever the condition of your heart and mind today, embrace the Word of the Lord – By God’s grace, remain faithful.