Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. ~Acts 14:3
My father was in the meat and grocery business for most of his adult life. I remember, in 1968, when he took his entire life savings to buy a meat and grocery store in a very tough part of the city. Over 25 years, he built a successful family-owned business. There were many challenging times that probably made him think about selling or closing the business early, but he stayed in that location and pressed on. Let us see, this morning, the importance of staying put.
We see the goal.
"And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed." Staying put requires a goal. Barnabas and Saul came off a rough exit at Antioch of Pisidia, but because they were forward focused, they set their sights on a new location to build a church. Our goal should be to get our roots in deep. Our goal should be to bloom where we are planted. Our goal should be to build long-term, lasting relationships. A goal gives us a focus and purpose.
We see the gospel.
"Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands." We must stay put when it comes to the gospel. First, don’t change the message. It is the power of God unto salvation. Second, from the first day that we declare the gospel, we should determine to boldly preach it day after day, week after week. The longer a church is in an area, the more it should be a well-known and unmistakable fact that the gospel is preached there. Staying put in the gospel requires us to keep soulwinning a priority, evangelistic outreaches regular, and winning souls our passion.
We see the geography.
Staying put requires that we are well established in our location. A church builds visibility and viability by staying in its location. If a church is moving around all the time, it might be considered unstable. The same can be said about church membership. Long-term members are considered stable members. The same can be said about stable marriages. These marriages stick it out and are seen as all-weather relationships that are not affected by storms, heat waves, or undesirable climate. I tell people to be in their place all the time.
We see the grit.
"Long time therefore abode...." Saul and Barnabas had to deal with evil opposition to their ministry. Some people run at the first sign of opposition or pushback. The servants of the Lord stayed put and gave their best. The harder the opposition became, the more they dug their heels in. They witnessed and preached with greater boldness and zeal. Staying put means we must persevere, we do not easily give up, and we get up and keep going because there are people who are watching to see if we really mean what we preach.
We see the glory.
"A great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed." God is glorified and blesses us when we stay put and demonstrate stability. God gives increase when we stay put. God’s name is praised when we stay put. New believers are greatly encouraged and built up in the Word of God’s grace. The church grows and its influence continues to expand. You might be tempted to leave at the first sign of trouble, but stay put. Stick it out and let God work through you.
Have a long-lasting God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Proverbs 7-9