5/23 Acts 14:27

27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.

Time for testimonies! Paul and Barnabas had been sent out by the church in Antioch at the leading of the Holy Spirit. Now they had returned and were reporting about what God was doing. This first trip was eye-opening. They learned that they would be strongly resisted by unbelieving Jews. They could report that a number of churches had been founded. The island of Cyprus had been evangelized. The proconsul there had become a believer. God had used miraculous healings and a curse of blindness on the magician that opposed them to help the message to be received. The Gentiles were ripe for the gospel.

You can imagine the church in Antioch listening with bated breath at the account of the stoning of Paul. They surely marveled at his trust in God to return to the same town on the return trip so that he could strengthen the local church. It had been an exciting and fruitful missionary trip. The church in Antioch could see the fruit of obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit and boldly proclaiming the gospel.

When your local church sends people out to serve the Lord, it's important to have them return and tell of what God has done. It reminds us that God is still at work and that our prayers are effective. It encourages others to go out in faith and see what God will do in and through them. Pray - Send - Obey - Support - Report. That is how the church is encouraged to fulfill the Great Commission. It is in giving that we receive.

Consider: Have you considered your role in evangelizing the world? It may be prayer for specific ministries or individuals, financial support, a short-term mission trip to aid a struggling mission base, or sharing the gospel with your neighbor. Ask God.