No Fast-Food Discipleship
Scripture Reading — Acts 14:1-7
Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord ... Acts 14:3 —
Our fast-paced society wants quick results with minimal effort. For example, you slide your plastic card into a teller machine, punch a couple of keys, and out slides your money.
We carry this mindset into God's work as well. We deliver a quick sermon, and we expect unbelievers to start crying about their sins and giving their lives to the Lord right away. How many mission teams have not withdrawn in key areas of the world because of the lack of immediate results?
Paul and Barnabas at first received a good response from both the Jews and Gentiles who lived in Iconium. But soon they were confronted with opposition from those who did not like the gospel. Instead of cutting and running, Paul and Barnabas chose to spend "considerable time there," speaking with boldness for the Lord. And the Lord confirmed their message with miraculous signs and wonders.
Perseverance and patience are key elements for effective discipleship and ministry. Are we patient with our children who have strayed from the Lord? Are we patient with our neighbors, coworkers, or classmates who are slow to understand their need for salvation? We can hinder miracles of grace in our lives and ministries if we lack perseverance and patience.
Lord, give us perseverance and patience so that we may withstand opposition when necessary. Help us also as we wait for your working in people's lives. Amen.