PAUL CONCLUDED HIS 2ND MISSIONARY JOURNEY
As Paul continued to minister in Corinth, the Jews tried to stop him by bringing charges against him before the proconsul (governor) of Achaia. However, the proconsul realized that the Jews' accusation against Paul was not a matter of committing a crime but related to their religious disagreement with Paul. As a result, the proconsul dismissed their accusation against Paul because the proconsul was only interested in civil laws and not religious laws. The Jews were so infuriated with the decision that they had to blame someone. They took hold of Sosthenes, the synagogue's leader, and beat him. Later, Sosthenes became a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:1-2). Paul continued to remain in Corinth many days after the event took place. Then, he, Priscilla, and Aquila set out to return to Syria. While passing through Cenchrea, Paul shaved his hair as a sign that he had completed his vow. A vow is a solemn promise made to God as an expression of gratitude or devotion to his service. A vow can be temporary or for life. Once the vow is completed, the person who made the vow can have his hair grow again.
Then they continued their travel to Syria and came to Ephesus. Paul went to a synagogue there and reasoned with the Jews about the Lord Jesus. They tried to convince him to stay longer, but he decided to leave, but he told them that he would return to them again if God's will. Paul sailed from Ephesus and landed in Caesarea, then went to Jerusalem to visit the church there. After visiting Jerusalem, he went down to Antioch, Syria. He concluded his second missionary journey. (Acts 18:12-22). Paul traveled at least 2,000 miles and endured hardship and persecution, yet His relationship with God was stronger than ever. God was with Paul all throughout the journey. Later, Paul wrote the book of 1 and 2 Corinthians to continue ministering to the believers in Corinth. (Second Missionary Journey Map).
God is always with us in our life's journey. As we face trials, difficulties, and hardships, God is walking with us and keeping us safe. Nothing can happen to us without going through God's hands. And when we go through hardship, His mighty hands will carry us through it. Let us keep on trusting and walking with God.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully and meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speaks to you). How did Paul survive the long and difficult journey? Do I believe that God is with me always in my life's journey? How should I live my life knowing that God is always with me?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, I am inspired by how you kept Paul safe through his long and difficult journey. The enemies tried to stop him but couldn't because you were always with him. Similarly, thank you for always being with me no matter the circumstances I face. Please help me to continue to trust and walk with you. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.