Devotional for Leaders

Bible Verse: 2 Timothy 1:7
Life Application: I can trust God to help me speak boldly about Him.

Paul delivered his first enthusiastic message about Jesus in Damascus—the same city where he originally intended to deliver arrest warrants to the resident believers. Acts 10:20 says Paul began to share his faith immediately. And what he said astounded and confounded his listeners.

Paul didn’t wait to speak until he knew everything about following Jesus. He simply shared what he did know at that time. And as he shared, Paul became more capable—so capable that the Damascus Jews planned to do away with Paul permanently. A late-night “thrill ride” in a basket delivered him safely out of the city.

Paul found nothing but cold shoulders and hot tempers when he returned to Jerusalem. The believers there were leery of his intentions. A believer named Barnabas bravely spoke up for Paul and assured that Paul had experienced a life change. Accepted as a true believer, Paul tried to assist the Jerusalem believers with their ministry—and again, found himself as the target of an assassination plot by the Hellenistic (Greek) Jews.

For safety, Paul’s friends shipped him back to his hometown Tarsus. Did Paul quit telling about his new life in Christ to protect himself, his reputation, and his skin? What do you think?

The aim of today’s Bible study is not to imply that following or speaking about Jesus is always easy. Sometimes it isn’t. The aim of today’s Bible study is to help you—and the kids you teach—understand that the same power that gave Paul the courage to speak is available to believers who pray and obey. You, too, can speak boldly about Him.

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