Sunday 7 August, 2016

Acts‬ ‭18:1-11‬ ‬

18 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, who was a native of Pontus. Aquila had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla. The emperor Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see Aquila and Priscilla. 3 They were tentmakers, just as he was. So he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath day he went to the synagogue. He was trying to get both Jews and Greeks to believe in the Lord. 5 Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia. Then Paul spent all his time preaching. He was a witness to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. 6 But they opposed Paul. They treated him badly. So he shook out his clothes in protest. Then he said to them, “God’s judgment against you will be your own fault! Don’t blame me for it! From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went to the house next door. It was the house of Titius Justus, a man who worshiped God. 8 Crispus was the synagogue leader. He and everyone living in his house came to believe in the Lord. Many others who lived in Corinth heard Paul. They too believed and were baptized. 9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Keep on speaking. Don’t be silent. 10 I am with you. No one will attack you and harm you. I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half. He taught them God’s word.

There are a few things in this narrative that get my attention, however I will focus on one. Paul had been having a rough time of it, he was sick of being rejected and abused. It seems as though he was ready to pack it in and move on to another city. This would not have been unusual, Paul, like Jesus, had an itinerant ministry, preaching, teaching and performing miracles from town to town.  But God wanted him to stay in Corinth, and said so to him.

I know I have needed to receive a Word from God when the going has got really tough in the past. A Word from God can keep me going.  Sometimes serving God can be joyful and fruitful, we feel like we are using our gifts and abilities and it is a lot of fun. However, it is not always like that. Sometimes God will tell us to stick it out when it is painful and tough. This is where a promise or encouragement from God can make all the difference.

“God, I want to walk closely with you. Speak to me in the good and bad times. Encourage me when I need it. Amen.”

Written by Andrew Mellor

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