One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.
For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” ~ Acts 18:9, 10 (ESV)

READING: Acts 18:1-11

Church planting can be a fearful thing.

We are often called to plant churches far from home. We may have little money and few contacts in the community, and we may feel the pressure of not only starting the church, but also providing for our families.

Sometimes we start churches where there is outright hostility to the gospel. Church planting places us on the “front lines” of spiritual warfare. The devil hates Christ, His gospel and His church.

Thank God we have the witness of church planters who have gone before us, like the Apostle Paul. He knew the personal price of starting churches in enemy territory. He was hated, slandered, beaten and left for dead.

But through it all he knew God was in control. In the Greek city of Corinth, Paul faced a society where many cultures and religions mingled. Pagan immorality and idolatry were rampant as well as a prideful trust in the human intellect.

But the Lord reassured him: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”

God has a plan for your church plant! When God calls us even to hostile territory, we’re under His protection. And the Lord of the harvest knows the ones He is calling to Himself: “I have many people in this city!”

Thank You, Lord, that this church is Your project. Please show me the people You are calling to Yourself. Amen.

Jim Carpenter