Mining For Souls

  1. Message: In Acts chapter 14 Paul and Barnabas preached in Lystra and when God healed a man through them the town thought they were gods and began trying to make sacrifices to them. Paul and Barnabas tried to tell them that they were only men and to turn to God who has given them every need and pleasure but they didn’t stop until some people came from the surrounding towns and won them against Paul to the point that they stoned him until they thought he was dead. Reading all of this sounded like a terrible report until we see that they moved on to the next city and to evangelize and then came back to all of the cities that persecuted them and strengthened the believers in the churches they had planted. Somehow through all of that bad report I missed that they successfully planted several churches!
  2. Command: Push through the opposition.
  3. Promise: There are valuable things to be found in our oppositions.
  4. Warning: If we give up when things get hard we miss something of value things that can only be found in the struggle.
  5. Application: This story reminded me of some of the gold mining shows we watch. These crews are out in remote places digging and processing hundreds of yards of dirt. Their equipment breaks down constantly, they occasionally get injured,  turn on each other or have opposition from outside people, but then the man in charge of cleaning up and processing the gold comes out with a jar and they measure how much gold they caught. It seems ridiculous that they would endure all of that for a small jar of gold dust but they have already calculated the expense of running all of that equipment and digging through all of that dirt to harvest something that is so valuable. We have to see people as so valuable that we would discount all of the terrible things that happen to us. The people who turn on us, and those who hurt us or reject us are worth the fight knowing that the salvation of those who receive is worth all of it. God saw us as so valuable that he sacrificed himself. Now we need to be so passionate about those he sent us to harvest that we discount all of the hard things we endure in the process. Maybe the valuable thing we obtain through the struggle was wisdom. Maybe the fight appears to have left you beat up beside a heap of worthless dirt, but you discover that wisdom just might be your reward of gold nuggets when all is said and done.

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