But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. ~ Acts 13:50-52 (ESV)
READING: Acts 13:42-52
Jesus is Lord of church planting. But the church planting journey certainly includes its share of heartache and opposition. If the Bible were only a human book, the last verses of chapter 13 would never have been written. We would prefer to end the story with people being saved and the word of God spreading (vv. 48, 49).
But the Holy Spirit gave us the more realistic record. After great success, Paul and Barnabas were persecuted and driven out of the city. The gospel polarizes. Church planting infuriates Christ’s enemies – human and demonic.
The Lord in His wisdom permits and uses this for His own purposes and glory. The murder of Stephen (Acts 7), and the persecution that followed, ignited the courage of ordinary Christians who left Jerusalem and told everyone everywhere about Jesus (8:1, 4).
My younger son served in the military. Just when he was completing his service term, he was unexpectedly called up to serve for over a year in a combat post overseas, a region of great violence and danger. Before he left home, his older brother encouraged him, “You are immortal until the Lord calls you home.”
God’s servants are immortal and invincible until the Lord calls us home. Jesus is Lord of church planting – even in the middle of spiritual warfare.
Lord Jesus, I acknowledge You as my Lord, and I plead Your blood and claim Your mighty name over my family and my church plant. To You alone be glory. Amen.
Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI) “Equips Leaders to Plant 5 Million Churches Worldwide.” Learn more