By Pastora Monique Lopez Ong
Paul went to a total of 9 places during his third missionary journey. He remained for one year in Antioch after his second journey not to rest, but to prepare for the journey to come. While looking at the chapters in Acts 18-21, the duration of those 3 chapters is 3 years. At the end of this, he delivered a goodbye message because he knew that the time of his death is about to come.
We are on a mission. Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Speaking of which, Paul’s journey took him 3 years, 16,000 kilometers with a cost of P1,322,750.00 per person. Many people will step back and say they cannot do that. But when God calls you, He will prepare you and provide for you.
Why do you have to do missions? When missionaries go out, they prepare because they come to bless the land. The end goal is disicipleship. Acts 18:23 says, “After spending some time in Antioch, Paul went back through Galatia and Phrygia, visiting and strengthening all the believers.” A disciple is a student, a learner and a follower of Jesus. The goal of discipleship is to be more Christlike and to be a disciple-making disciple.
Let us give an example of disciple-making disciples in action in Paul’s third missionary journey.
Aquila & Prescilla are a husband and wife tandem who are tent-maker Jewish Christians who live in Corinth. Paul stayed with them got 18 months and after that, they joined Paul in his missionary journey. (Acts 18:19-20,24-26) Missionary journeys do not always need a pastor. Paul left Aquila and Priscilla and that is when they met Apollos, saw potential in him and invited him into their home to disciple him. They shared the word and he eventually became a great use for the kingdom.
There are benefits of a disciple-making disciples. You get to be a part of a kingdom network. (Acts 18) The network does not stop and you have a home in all the places you visit. Discipleship is centered on Jesus anchored in the Holy Spirit. Are your conversations centered in Jesus and anchored in the Holy Spirit? If not, that is not discipleship. (Acts 19:1-7) It is not just a social club. God wants you to go deeper in discipleship. He wants you to overflow. Discipleship is about equipping the saints for works of the kingdom. (Acts 19:7-10) Paul was teaching for 2 years straight. Attend the seminars and events at church so you can be empowered. Where there is discipleship, signs and wonders follow. (Acts 19:11-2) Faking discipleship has dangerous results. (Acts 19:13-16) Even demons know real believers from the fake ones. Do not pretend to be disciples lest the devil takes over you. When real discipleship takes place, revival happens. (Acts 19:17-20) Paul’s 3rd missionary journey is very interesting. Without discipleship, it would not have reached that far and that wide.