A few years back, Amanda and I went on an Anniversary weekend getaway to Hot Springs, Arkansas. We had never been there before and didn't really know anyone who could recommend anything. The company was great, but the accommodations just seemed average. The bed-and-breakfast was average, the food was average, the sights and scenery were just average. Perhaps we didn't have a good enough guide, but I just don't think the effort to go back would be worth it. There are some places I have been, but have absolutely no desire to go back. In Acts 14, we read about Paul and Barnabas planting churches, building disciples, preaching the Gospel, and then getting ran out of each town my angry mobs. I don't know about you, but that would probably be enough to add each town to my "never going back" list. Take a look at what Paul and Barnabas did:
21 After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, 22 where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. 23 Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. 24 Then they traveled back through Pisidia to Pamphylia. 25 They preached the word in Perga, then went down to Attalia.
You did read that right! They went back into every town to strengthen the believers, even the town that stoned Paul to the point that everyone thought he was dead. As I am thinking through this, it is striking me that there may be people that you need to revisit. People who need strengthened. Perhaps, even, people who need forgiven. If that is the case, please don't delay!
With sincere love for each of you,