23 “After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.”
Acts 18:23 (NIV)
When was the last time you lifted weights? Yesterday? Recently? Embarrassed to say that it’s been too long?
Anyone seriously pursuing a sport or sincerely committed to physical fitness knows the answer has to be at least “very recently.” The regular overloading of our muscles strengthens our bodies. I must strengthen me to maximize my performance.
What’s interesting in Acts 18 is that we find the example of a man passionately committed to strengthening others, not just himself. The apostle Paul was driven to make others strong with him. He called and challenged others to “lift” with him.
Like Paul, God’s Word calls us similarly. It repeatedly challenges us to be committed to not only our own strengthening but also dedicated to building up others. In fact, the terms “build,” “encourage,” and “strengthen” appear a whopping 157 times in Scripture. The mandate is clear: Strengthen others too.
Reflect: How’s your personal spiritual weight training going? Who trains/strengthens/encourages and equips you? Who else needs a nudge, a lift, a spiritual strengthening today?
A prayer to consider: LORD, I don’t just want to be strong for myself. I want to bring strength and encouragement to others as You’ve lifted me. Help me to target good lifts for others and strengthen many. Disciples make disciples. Amen.