“And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage.”
I love that last phrase, really two phrases. Think about Paul; at this point in Acts, he has been through so much persecution; he has been through trials. He’s been through shipwreck. And finally he makes it to Rome. He’s under house arrest, so things are not like he would like them to be.
You are not alone. Let’s thank God for saving us into a family. Take courage from fellowshipping with others in Christ and look for opportunities to give courage to others.
But when he gets there, the brothers; talking about the fellow followers of Christ, the family of God, come to be with him. When Paul sees them, it says, “He thanked God, and he took courage.”
I read that and I think of my own life; I just want to encourage you in your life to thank God for brothers and sisters in Christ around you. Thank God that you are not alone.
Let’s be honest; sometimes in the church, we have conflict with brothers and sisters. Sometimes we can be in situations where we forget to thank God, that we are not alone in our faith in Christ.
Paul felt so alone at so many points. I know; there are brothers and sisters around the world, maybe even some who are even listening to this, who feel pretty alone.
To the extent of which you have any fellowship with any brother or sister in Christ around you, just to thank God for that. And to be source of; this is the second part; encouragement to the brothers and sisters around you.
This text, this verse, says, Paul took courage from just being with these brothers in Christ. This is what fellowship in Christ is intended to do. We are supposed to encourage one another.
Think about brothers and sisters in Christ around you. Look for opportunities to give courage to them, that they might take courage from fellowship with you.
Oh God, we pray for this kind of picture in each of our lives, and in the churches we’re a part of. God, I pray with thanksgiving and gratitude in my heart to You for the brothers and sisters around me right now in Christ. What a gift.
Thank You God, that I’m not alone. Nowhere close to alone, with so many brothers and sisters in Christ around me. Thank You God. I pray that You would help me to take courage from fellowship with them, and to give courage and fellowship with them.
God, I pray this for others who are surrounded by followers of Jesus who have friends in Christ around them. Maybe it’s a couple; maybe it’s a lot; but God, I just pray for good fellowship together in Christ. For encouraging fellowship together in Christ.
Then God, I do pray, for we pray for brothers and sisters who feel pretty alone right now. God, we pray that You would provide fellowship, courage, giving fellowship to them. We pray that You provide church around them.
And we pray that You would bring them in to fellowship in a church where not just sitting next to people on a Sunday, but truly experiencing life together with others. Where encouragement is happening.
God, we praise You for saving us into a family. Albeit an imperfect family, but an imperfect family that we add to the imperfections, every one of us, certainly including me.
I praise You for the patience brothers and sisters have shown with me. For the kindness brothers and sisters have shown to me. I pray that You would help me just show that kind of patience; to show that kind of kindness.
Help us to cultivate, encouraging fellowship together in Christ that leads to gratitude to You as our Father. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.
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