“Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.”Acts 14:19-20/NIV
I remember a famous National Football League (NFL) quarterback years ago named Brett Favre. He played for the Green Bay Packers throughout most of his professional career, where he was very successful and set many records. He was someone with poise, skill, talent, and critical thinking skills and knew how to get the team out of a tough spot and win the game. He had a great offensive line that blocked for him and protected him from the opponent.
Later in Brett Favre’s NFL career, and closer to retirement, he played for a different NFL team. As he was older and perhaps could not run as fast as during his more youthful years, and his new offensive line was not as good at protecting him as the Packers, he was often on the run from the defense and was sacked. I recall one game where he had been battered and bruised by the opponent to the extent he was bloodied and injured and was limping off the field. I’m guessing the pay was just that good, and his strong desire kept him going. I sometimes wonder what keeps people going during unbearable circumstances!
In contrast, when we review the focal biblical passage about Apostle Paul, the Bible tells us that Paul was a rejecter of Jesus Christ, and he traumatized the Lord’s followers. After Paul had a life-changing experience meeting Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, he also changed teams. Paul became a follower of Jesus Christ and demonstrated unwavering and steadfast courage and commitment to carrying out the Great Commission! As we read the New Testament, we learn of Paul going from town-to-town, where on many occasions he was mobbed, stoned, beaten, imprisoned, threatened, cursed, scorned, and experienced other types of wrath from rejecters of his ministry as well as the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The focal passage reveals that Paul was scorned and stoned for his beliefs and, on one occasion, was possibly considered dead. Miraculously, he was still alive and returned to the city to continue his ministry and efforts towards the Great Commission. What determination, drive, and motivation he had! That makes me reflect upon myself, explore my drives and incentives, and wonder if I have Paul’s same determination. I’m glad I live in a day and age and part of the world where I can speak about Jesus Christ, share my faith and beliefs with others, and not worry about being stoned.
Self-reflection consideration: Am I a follower of Jesus Christ who is on a mission to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ?
Many blessings to you!
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