Supporting Others in Their Faith

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This is the Great Theatre at Ephesus where Paul stood and spoke to the Ephesians about the Gospel.  He was so effective that a man who sold idol statues caused a riot because it affected his business (Acts 19)

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. (KJV)

**Paul’s first converts in each house church became Elders and were to preach the Gospel to others and live as an example to the new converts.  Paul fasted and prayed for each of these people, turning them over to the Lord for support of their conversion.  He offered advice and corrections, as needed, but relied on God to build and maintain their faith.  He wasn’t responsible for MAKING them stay Christian, Paul left that to God, but he didn’t desert them completely – he maintained contact through letters and occasional visits.  Training and growth was his focus.

Read the book of Ruth.

This story illustrates Naomi as the faithful of God, who converts Ruth a Moabitess woman from an idol worshipping country to love God, and then loves Ruth enough, that when it is time to return to Bethlehem, she is willing to leave Ruth behind with her own family.  Ruth, however, chooses to accompany Naomi and live the life of a stranger in a strange land.  Naomi, is faithful in guiding Ruth in the customs of the land, and continuing to build Ruth’s love of the Lord, by demonstrating her love for Ruth.  Naomi’s life was full of sadness, and tribulation.  She lost everything that she valued, except for God,  and was forced to return home to a life of poverty living off the generosity of local farmers. (Leviticus 23:22 and Deuteronomy 24:19)  God rewarded her faithfulness by giving her the position of grandmother, when she had no hope of ever having anymore direct descendants.  He rewarded Ruth for her faithfulness by giving her a good marriage.  He also made Ruth and Boaz a direct ancestor of Jesus Christ, his son.(Matthew 1:1-17)

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