Acts 14 is a chapter full of powerful preaching and miraculous healings! The apostles going out and preaching the gospel far and wide. It’s exciting and heady stuff. I would love to have been in their shoes – expanding the good news of the Gospel. Traveling to new places, seeing new faces – upward, onward!
Paul and Barnabas went back….they retraced their steps.
“After preaching the Good News in Serve and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lustra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, 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. Acts 14:21-23
Having gone out to preach and win so many souls to the Lord, they don’t stop and consider it mission accomplished. Instead they go back to where they came from. They strengthen and encourage the young church where they had been before and disciple them.
So often we can be focused on the next achievement (or even the one we are currently experiencing) and completely miss the moments of personal discipleship with those around us, those that God has given us some influence over. Those that need to be re-encouraged, re-ignited, re-discipled, ‘re-minded’…
There are countless times and situations where I have felt down, lost or hopeless. And so often, it is a small, seemingly insignificant reminder from a close friend that can spark some life back into me. I need to be discipled again, I need to be encouraged again – I need my friends to keep retracing their steps to me.
We need each other. We need the reminders of what God has spoken to us and we need to hear what God is doing in each other’s lives and around the world. It is a great way to encourage each other into more.
My prayer is that we would not tire of telling the stories, celebrating the miracles, sharing what God is doing in each of our lives and encouraging each other to all the more that He has for us.
Let’s retrace our steps into one another’s lives.