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Monday, July 28, 2014

Courageous And Consistent

Here we go we are starting off the new week with a fresh perspective on the week ahead with these words of encouragement. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage. —Acts 28:15 While reading the obituary of Eugene Patterson, Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of the Atlanta Constitution from 1960 to 1968, I was struck by two things. First, for many years Patterson was a fearless voice for civil rights during a time when many opposed racial equality. In addition, he wrote a column every day for 8 years. That’s 2,922 newspaper columns! Day after day, year after year. Courage and consistency were key factors in the impact of his life. We see those same qualities in the apostle Paul. Acts 13–28 records his bravery in one harrowing situation after another. After being shipwrecked on his way to stand trial before Caesar, he landed south of Rome, where many brothers in Christ came to meet him (Acts 28:11-15). “When Paul saw them,” Luke wrote, “he thanked God and took courage” (v.15). During the next 2 years as a prisoner, Paul was allowed to live in his own rented house where he “received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence” (vv.30-31). Every follower of Jesus can be a consistent giver and receiver of courage. The Lord can use us today to encourage and strengthen each other. —David McCasland O keep up your courage, each day to the end; Go forth in the strength of the Lord; Trust wholly in Jesus, thy Savior and Friend, And feed on His own blessed Word. —Miles When people share their fears with you, share your courage with them. Bible in a year: Psalms 46-48; Acts 28 Insight Today’s passage chronicles one of Paul’s journeys and how he and his companions were received and shown hospitality. It is easy to forget that this was not a luxury cruise with an exotic island destination. During this trip, Paul was a prisoner and he and his companions (soldiers included) were met by and stayed with Christian believers. It is possible that Paul was allowed to live in his own rented home under house arrest and share the gospel (vv.30-31) because the soldiers were impressed by the hospitality that had been shown to them.

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