Saturday, November 07, 2009

2009 – Day 310.Nov 07 – Press On

Passage for Study: Acts 12: 25, 13:5, 13: 13 - 15 …
Acts 12 – 13 Linked for study …

My Journal for Today: Though we’re studying Paul’s ministry and movements in the Book of Acts, it was Paul’s words in Phil. 3: 14 which succinctly summarize what today’s message is all about. To the church at Philippi, Paul wrote, ”I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

In today’s passages, there was a point in their travels in Asia Minor, in what we now know as Turkey, that the companion assistant, John Mark, for whatever reason, decided to go back to Jerusalem. But Paul and Barnabas didn’t let that deter them from their called missionary journey. They pressed on!

Today, Chuck Swindoll points to a reality that we all face in our upward calling to/for Christ (see Acts 1: 8 and Matt. 28: 19-20); and that is we often face Satan’s weapon of discouragement. Here were Barnabas and Paul in a strange land; and historians tell us that somewhere, about this time, Paul came down with a severe illness, likely malaria or some semi-tropical disease. And then there was John Mark taking a hike on them. But what did they do? They pressed on just as Paul wrote about later in Phil. 3: 14.

It’s easy when we’re out there in the world, trying our best to live and witness our faith. In case you haven’t noticed, the world is becoming ever more hostile to any who stand for Christ. I know you’re probably saying sarcastically, “Duh, Bill, really?” And then there’s the discouragement of people, maybe even dear friends, who backslide or even abandon their previously declared faith. Satan has a way of buffeting us with circumstances which can bring us down into discouragement or even situational depression. And it is often tempting to just cut and run; but then the truth from Paul, quoted above, rings with conviction in our hearts. We simply must “press on toward the goal,” having been given the calling to stand for our Lord, to shine His light through our good and Godly works so that our Father in Heaven will be glorified. [I’ll bet some of you are already quoting Matt. 5: 16 here right, aren’t you? ;) ].

My Prayer for Today: Lord, we all, as your called ones, need Your strength to bolster us when Satan comes against us with discouragement. Help us to press on for Your calling. Amen

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