Summary: Paul traveled 6000-7000 miles during his journeys and faced incredible hardships all for only one purpose, to spread the news of Jesus.
• Paul had more to do with the growth of Christianity than any other person.
• Last week we talked about how Paul was released into ministry.
• How Barnabas took a risk to work with him.
• How ultimately Paul emerged as the leader.
• They had conflicts with each other and God worked in the midst of those battles.
• When you think about Paul it is hard not to think about traveling.
• How many of you like to travel?
• Paul spent the better part of his life traveling, not on vacations, but on outreaches.
• We would say he took three missionary journeys, but the truth is his life was pretty much taken up traveling all over Asia Minor and the Middle East as well as Europe.
• Acts 13,14,16 today.
I. SENT OUT
Matthew 28:19 - Jesus gave His church some marching orders.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
• Acts 13 - There are five nations represented in this prayer meeting.
• This was a time that would change the world.
• The Holy Spirit spoke!
Acts 13:1-4 NLT, “Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man”), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod), and Saul. One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.’ So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way…they went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus.”
• Paul likely traveled over 6000-7000 miles during his journeys.
• This was made possible by the Roman Empire that established roads and sea routes for travel.
• God actually used the Roman engineering to His advantage.
• The Romans built over 50,000 miles of roads and military highways and 200,000 miles of secondary roads.
• They began doing this in 300 BC and many of them still survive today.
• Paul also sailed all over the Roman sea lanes that were secured from pirates by the Roman fleet. This allowed for the great commercial wealth and trading of Rome.
• But it also allowed the gospel to go to the world.
• As well as the Roman postal service which he used to send letters all over the Roman Empire!
• Paul took advantage of all that Rome had done to build the Kingdom of God.
• You may have heard the old adage, “All roads lead to Rome.” When Paul was alive they did!
• Most of the time Paul walked an average of 20 miles a day.
• Paul would travel on merchant trade ships. Wild he would get on a boat with a crew he never met and trust his life to them, no! He trusted his life to Jesus.
• Just as we are to do when He asks us to go. The safest place you can be on earth is with Him!
• He faced incredible hardships!
• Highlights he speaks about in II Corinthians 11:23-29, “...I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?”
• He believed beyond what most of us could have imagined.
• His first trip out, he establishes churches in Asia Minor.
• His second trip he travels to Europe and founds churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens and Corinth.
• On his third trip he travels to Greece and later to Spain and Rome.
• I have been blessed to travel much of the world on outreaches, living in people’s homes and sleeping on the floors of churches, huts and homes.