Paul’s Shepherding Heart: Acts 18:23-23
“22) When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and went down to Antioch. 23) And having spent some time there, he left and passed successively through the Galatian region and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.” Acts‬ ‭18‬:‭22‬-‭23‬
Though informative, these are not the most exciting verses in the book of Acts. Paul ends his second missionary journey by reporting back to his sending church at Antioch. Though he was an Apostle, he lived under authority.
I firmly believe missionaries need a sending church. They are there for prayer support, spiritual encouragement, moral accountability and financial support. They are booth a lunching pad and a refueling station. They are there to help with life maintenance.
Upon leaving Antioch, Paul revisited all the churches in the Galatian region he and Barnabas had started on the first missionary journey. As the book of Galatians indicates, he quickly discovered they had become very legalistic and were being persuaded to add keeping the Law to the message of the gospel. Grace had been distorted. He spent time strengthening them and reviewing the true gospel.
These two verses in the book of Acts adds insight to 2 Corinthians 11:28-29; “Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?” Many of his Epistles were written to churches he helped start or people he had mentored. Paul had a true shepherd’s heart.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global