Sources of Encouragement in the Work
September 10, 2006
INTRODUCTION: The work had been difficult on the second missionary journey, but, yet, in the midst of it all, Paul found encouragement. The Lord uses the workers, (Aquila, Priscilla, the new worshippers (Justus and Crispus) and possibly Sosthenes. Paul probably saw him as one that "in just a matter of time" he would come to Christ; a Christian sympathizer. Verse 8 leads us to believe that a lot of new believers were coming into Christ's kingdom.
I believe the overwhelming encouragement to Paul was from the Lord Himself. Paul got "a word" from the Lord. Have you ever needed "a word"? It led him to making a vow to the Lord.
Vow of Personal Devotion
• Lasted at least 30 days
• Eat no meat
• Drink no fruit of the vine
• Do not cut your hair
• Normally done as a sign of special devotion during
• Displayed in your heart an expression of gratitude
• At the end of the 30 days you shaved your head
• It was purely voluntary
• Had to be completed in Jerusalem
• Had to give an offering as a sacrifice
Another source of encouragement for Paul in this text is the protection of the Lord seen in Paul's confrontation.
Paul really needed encouragement at this point in his life.
"At Corinth, Paul had come to a ripened harvest field. There had been very little to reap at Athens. The soil was poor there, for intellectualism and high-sounding nonsense spoiled the harvest. But, here at Corinth, in the filth capitol of the world, were many hungry hearts. There were lonely people, people disillusioned by pleasure and worldliness, people who had drunk from Satan's broken cisterns and poisoned wells, desperate people, people who were not only lost but who knew they were lost. There were sailors, tired of lives of drunkenness and debauchery; there were the broken women, the castoffs of the temples where sin was their daily bread; there were succ ...
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