21 對那城裡的人傳了福音，使好些人作門徒；就回路司得、以哥念、安提阿去， 22 堅固門徒的心，勸他們恆守所信的道，又說：“我們進入 神的國，必須經歷許多艱難。”
- 對保羅來說，事奉的目的就是要「堅固」信徒（22節），「成全聖徒」，裝備他們（弗4:12-13）。主不但吩咐我們領人作祂的門徒，且要教訓他們遵守主一切的命令。今天許多教會都忽略了大使命中的這個部分，成為我們「大使命中的一大疏忽」(Great Omission from the Great Commission)。
20But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe. 21They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
Paul believed that the purpose of ministry was to “strengthen believers’ souls” (v22) and “equip the saints” (Eph 4:12-13). We are commanded by Jesus not only to make disciples, but also to teach them to obey everything that Jesus commanded. This is the “Great Omission from the Great Commission” in many churches.
How much do I know of the various Equipping opportunities at my church? What have I been committed in?
Recalling my own Christian journey, how much equipping have I received? Am I willing to receive training for spiritual growth and ministry preparation?
This “260 Appointments with God” is an Equipping opportunity. Thank the Lord for this exercise, and pray that God will help me persevere to the finish line.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Saul has changed his name to Paul. Look up a Bible dictionary to find out the meaning of Saul, and Paul. Do the two meanings match who Saul and Paul were before and after he met Jesus? What’s the meaning of your name? Pass the Family Devotional Journal for each to write or draw meaning of their names. Pray that God will help them to live up to their namesake.