Short But Sweet

God used this travelling missionary to connect with them and give them hope.

Acts 18:18-28

Reference: After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and travelled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. (Acts 18:23 NIV)

Explore: One of my greatest ministry experiences was sitting at a small dining room table in a 2-roomed house in a province in the Philippines. I was travelling alone, meeting church planters in outer areas to offer support and encouragement.

As I’ve found every time I’ve done a missions trip, I ended up receiving so much more than I could ever have given. Meeting them face-to-face meant that I was able to experience their great dedication and incredible faith, often in very trying situations.

Due to my travels, I was able to help this couple by just listening to their struggles. They were finding it difficult to work with some of their fellow colleagues and they just needed someone from outside the organization to listen and understand. I didn’t have any profound wisdom, I just gave them the empathy they needed.

Due to the lack of technology in their area, and the thousands of miles that are between us, I do not communicate with this incredible couple very often. However, I know that in their time of need, God used this travelling missionary to connect with them and give them hope.

Application: As a missionary to my own local community, I always struggled with Paul’s fleeting visits in Acts. There were times when he settled in an area for some time, but on some occasions he only spent weeks planting a church before moving on.

This is when I realize that I have forgotten to factor God into the mix of our ministry service. There are times when God needs us to settle down and minister long term with a community but, at times, He chooses to use us for one situation at a time.

Paul was incredibly committed to being obedient to God. He sought Him for guidance in all that he did. Therefore, sometimes Paul stayed in an area and at other times he moved quickly.

If you are ever considering moving on from a ministry area then the important thing we can learn from Paul was how well he sought God for guidance. He did not move from place to place because he got bored or impatient, it was because he was following God’s call on his life to spread His word.

So often we can move on from a church or a ministry area because it doesn’t serve all of OUR needs. However, Paul rarely sought his own needs – even to the point of death – but constantly placed God’s call before all else.

Prayer: Lord God, there are times when Your call is not clear to us. May we dwell in Your presence until we understand Your ways and move with a desire to do Your will, not to fill our own needs. Amen.

Where is God calling you to minister for this season?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.