Today’s Bible reading is 2 Kings 16 and Acts 21.
In Acts 21, Paul’s third missionary journey is coming to a close. He’s headed for Jerusalem and almost certain danger. Multiple people have urged him not to go. His answer?
“What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13)
It’s incredible faith and determination. But notice the “fuel” of encouragement Paul got along the way.
Having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days.
They all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed… (Acts 21:4-5)
…we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for one day. (Acts 21:7)
…we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him … for many days… (Acts 21:8, 10)
Some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, bringing us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge. When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly. (Acts 21:16-17)
We don’t even know the names of most of these people. They were just ordinary men, women, and children. But they were also disciples of Jesus and they served as spiritual rest stops for Paul. They welcomed. They shared their possessions and property. They refreshed. They prayed. They listened. They rejoiced and wept. And as ordinary people who served as the hands and feet of Jesus, they provided the fuel of encouragement to Paul’s heart.
God knows what their names were. He knows yours too. He will use all-too-ordinary people all over the world this week to provide spiritual fuel for the heaven-bound.
What can you do to be a son or daughter of encouragement this week?