“As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. 13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.” Acts 17.10-15
“Known for his motto, ‘I must Ride or Die,’ Bishop Francis Asbury soon becomes the most recognized individual in the colonies, journeying to the colonies’ largest mansions and many of the humble dwellings on the frontier. His efforts uniquely cross denominational and ethnic boundaries as well. Francis is a man ahead of his time.” (https://workoutyourfaith.org/timeline/asbury).
Consider this as your motto in the 21st century, “I must Ride or Die.” For Asbury, the man whose namesake is Asbury University and Asbury Seminary, and who was one of the first Methodist bishops appointed by Rev. John Wesley to the America’s — his motto was his life. He rode his horse hundreds of thousands of miles in order to preach the Gospel. In comparison, I drive my truck to go where the Lord takes me in ministry! (In much more comfort!)
Paul and Silas could have identified with Asbury’s motto. They were always on the move, taking the Gospel across the Ancient Near East. Their current stop in Berea resulted in them preaching the gospel in another Jewish synagogue. Unlike the Thessalonians, Scripture tells us, the Bereans were of “noble character” and received the Gospel with “great eagerness” and “examined the Scriptures daily.
However, some of the Thessalonian Jews who opposed the Gospel “agitated the crowds and stirred them up.” So Paul was sent “to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stay in Berea.” Paul was “brought to Athens,” while the others would plan to join him soon.
Since I went to seminary I have literally been “on the move.” For over 20 years of my ministry I have been driving weekly to different ministry locations. For 12 years I drove back and forth from home to San Antonio, and now I drive back and forth weekly to Waco. And in seminary, I drove back and forth weekly for two years to Somerset, KY. Being “on the move” has been my “M.O.”
Although not all of us are called to drive to a different town in Texas every week, we are all called to be on the move. Whether it is walking across the street to encourage a neighbor or down the hallway to pray for a co-worker. God has given us mobility in order to be mobile missionaries of the Gospel. Sometimes that conversation brings about conversations and other times prayers for healing, restoration and wholeness.
Like Paul and like Asbury, we are following in the footsteps of the Master Jesus who literally walked across the Holy Land, from Nazareth to Jerusalem, to take the Good News to everyone who would listen.
Where is God leading you today? Listen to his Spirit direct you where to go. Ask him to lead you. When you hear his voice, and have those divine encounters, share them with another believer as a means to encourage (and I would also love to hear about them at [email protected].)
“O Lord God, use our mobility to impact your Kingdom. Use our feet and cars to communicate your gospel. Take us where you want us. Help us see your hand guiding us to where you need us the most. This is a big world with lots of needs. Raise up workers for the harvest that together we might accomplish your mission of spreading the Gospel and making your glory known. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen