Consider what has transpired in the verses we have covered in this chapter: Paul and Barnabas literally get banished out of the region of Pisidian Antioch at the end of Acts 13 and so they go to Iconium and do that same thing that just got them banished.  There they learn of an assassination plot against them, so they flee to Lystra and do the same thing.  That steadfast endurance in the midst of the persecution is what is so stunning in this passage and it doesn’t stop until Paul gets arrested in the later chapters of Acts.

As we’ve mentioned many times, we all have a ministry—it could be with children at home or co-workers or family members or bosses or clients or Christian friends.  In light of this ministry, in what cases are you tempted to not persevere by disobeying what Christ has said?  Perhaps the temptation is strongest when we incur indifference from others, pervasive ingratitude, and/or maybe even blatant disrespect in word or action.  This challenges us to ask why we are following Christ in the first place: Are we seeking some earthly payback or recognition?  Or are we trusting in the Living God who is and who will, on that great day, be a rewarder of those who diligently seek him?

Let’s end with the words from Heb. 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.