Strengthening Believers

They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. – Acts 14:21-22

The word “strengthening” in today’s key passage comes from the Greek word “episterizo.” It literally means to reestablish, to support further, to confirm, or to beef up our faith. That is what Paul and Silas were doing at this time in Scripture. They were strengthening the believers in their discipleship so they would keep taking the next step to follow Christ.

Philip's translation says it like this, “to put a fresh heart into the disciples.” In other words, Paul and Silas helped them strengthen their commitment so they could take their commitment to the next level. Their focus was to help beef up the faith of the believers in these churches.

There is an old Chinese proverb that goes like this: “If you are planning for a year, plant grain. If you are planning for a decade, plant trees. If you are planning for a century, then plant men and women.”

This speaks perfectly to Paul and Silas’s actions. Their focus was not on constructing buildings. The church met in all kinds of places, but the power of the church was not in a building; it was in the gathering of believers. The gathering of believers needed to be strengthened in those days. The gathering of believers needs to be strengthened in these days, as well. The faith needs to be built up as maturing believers take the next step.

How is God strengthening you? How is God using you to strengthen others? I hope that you will pray through and meditate on these questions so that God might do an incredible work in and through you to bring strength to His children and His Kingdom.
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5 Comments


Betty Jane Laughlin - January 8th, 2024 at 8:30am

I am thankful that I have Christian friends and believers in my life that we strengthen one another

Larry R McCurdy - January 8th, 2024 at 10:02am

I am grateful for all the role models GOD has put in my life. I am also GOD sent me to Westside church.

James W. Howell - January 8th, 2024 at 5:25pm

God has provided me with All Things that I have needed from the day I was born. It's been ups and downs. God has brought me through. I PRAISE God and Thank JESUS for the sacrifice that Saved Me ! PRAISE and Glory TO God !

Kelly - January 9th, 2024 at 4:38am

God is powerful, my strength has never been better because of him

Kelly - January 10th, 2024 at 4:30am

He gives me strength daily through an angel…. A friends who’s spirit gives me hope

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