sent to strengthen
Acts 9:19-31 (JDV)
Acts 9:19 And after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for some days.
Acts 9:20 He immediately began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “This one is the Son of God.”
Acts 9:21 All who heard him were amazed and said, “Isn’t this the man in Jerusalem who was destroying those who called on this name and came here for the purpose of taking them tied up to the chief priests?”
Acts 9:22 But Saul grew stronger and kept the Jews in uproar who resided in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
Acts 9:23 After many days had passed, the Jews conspired to take him out,
Acts 9:24 but Saul learned of their plot. So they were watching the gates day and night intending to take him out,
Acts 9:25 but his disciples took him by night and lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the wall.
Acts 9:26 When he arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to stick with the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, since they did not believe he was a disciple.
Acts 9:27 Barnabas, however, took him and brought him to the missionaries and explained to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had talked to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken openly in the name of Jesus.
Acts 9:28 Saul was coming and going with them in Jerusalem, speaking openly in the name of the Lord.
Acts 9:29 He conversed and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to take him out.
Acts 9:30 When the brothers found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
Acts 9:31 So the congregation throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Sacred Breath, it was being increased.
sent to strengthen
In just a few short verses, Saul travels from Damascus to Jerusalem to Caesarea to Tarsus. His missionary call would mean not settling in one area for a long time. In fact, it would take imprisonment for him to do that. He would also attract enemies wherever he went — part of what Jesus meant by “how much he must endure for my name” (9:16).
But wherever he went, the congregation of Christ experienced strength, encouragement and growth.
How much are we willing to endure so that Christ’s congregation can grow?
Lord, send us to strengthen your congregation.