For I have many in this city who are my people. – Acts 18:10b
Scripture reading: Acts 18:5-11
Leaving Athens, Paul came to the port city of Corinth where he met Aquila and Priscilla and joined them in the business of tent-making. He first went to the synagogue of the Jews and proclaimed the Gospel. The majority did not welcome his message, but the ruler of the synagogue believed and his entire household. Many of the Gentile population believed and were baptized. The Lord encouraged Paul in a vision, telling him:
“Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”
The Lord’s comforting words remind us of the doctrine of election that is summarized in Lord’s Day 21, of the Heidelberg Catechism:
“What do you believe concerning ‘the holy catholic church? I believe that the Son of God through his Spirit and Word, out of the entire human race, from the beginning of the world to its end, gathers, protects, and preserves for himself a community chosen for eternal life and united in true faith. And of this community I am and always will be a living member.”
My belief in election, enabled me to persevere during thirty-six years of broadcasting the Gospel to the Arabic-speaking world. Most of the audience were Muslims, “immunized” by their sacred texts, against the reception of the Christian message. Some believed, since they had been among the elect, known to God from eternity!
Suggestions for prayer
Missionaries laboring in difficult areas need our prayers that God would remind them their labors will not be in vain!
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Bassam Michael Madany has served as a missionary in Syria, and in 1958 he began a 36-year radio and literature ministry to the Arab world. After retirement Bassam & his wife Shirley began an Internet ministry, Middle East Resources, to provide a “Christian Response to the Global Challenge of Islam.”