Day 29

Founding the Corinthian Church

from the Acts reading plan

Acts 18:1-28, Isaiah 51:1-2, James 4:13-15

BY Melanie Rainer

When I was in college, I wanted to work for the State Department. Specifically, I wanted to be a foreign service agent and work in embassies around the world. I interned for State, which was an incredible experience, and returned home with a tension brewing in my wandering heart. I had learned that foreign service officers moved every two or so years. But not only did they move, they often changed regions, learning new languages and cultures. It seemed exhilarating but exhausting, and I felt the Lord calling me to set down roots in Nashville. It didn’t come easy, and it still doesn’t. I am learning the balance between deep and wide, between rooted and winged, between slow and never-resting. 

I think Paul must have been surprised when the Lord tapped him to stay put in Corinth, to water the seed of a church he planted there. Paul was a traveler, a prisoner, a letter-writer. He’s a man known for his journeys, not his stayings. But he did stay, in Corinth and later in Ephesus (Acts 19:10). 

In Acts 18, the Lord’s command to Paul is simple. “Don’t be afraid, but keep on speaking and don’t be silent. For I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to hurt you, because I have many people in this city” (Acts 18:9–10). 

Paul shows us what it means to obey the Lord, and to let God do the work. He wrote to Timothy that as a follower of Jesus he would be “a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master” (2Timothy 2:21). And the Corinthian church grew because of Paul’s commitment to those people, the early conversion of Crispus (Acts 18:8), and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 

When Paul left Corinth, he began his third missionary journey. And this same chapter that records Paul’s 18-month stay in Corinth also shows us his short visits to Ephesus (v.19), Jerusalem, Antioch, and his “traveling through one place after another in the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples” (v.23). 

The Bible is full of stories of goings and stayings, the way our lives tend to be shaped and shake out as well. We don’t know where the Lord will call us next; whether he is going to fling us across the globe, or have us stay in the same place forever. And one is not necessarily better than the other, despite what my wandering heart wants to believe. God’s Church is global, and local. It is the singing of hymns across time and continents, but it is also the ordinary prayers of a small country congregation. And the Lord will always do the work. He will always go before us (Deuteronomy 31:8). We can give thanks for Paul, and for the ongoing spread of God’s gospel around the world and through time, and petition God that He would always make our steps abundantly clear.

Post Comments (54)

54 thoughts on "Founding the Corinthian Church"

  1. Rebekah Carlin says:

    Hey Whitney, your prayers are still being heard and still being addressed, even two years after you asked for prayers. Depression is HARD. I hope you’ve had some relief in the last few years. I’m praying for you girlfriend. You are loved!

  2. Portia Strange says:

    Lord, make my steps abundantly clear as I navigate what’s next for me as far as career & housing. As you make my steps abundantly clear, Spirit give me the desire, power, & strength to obey however You lead me.

  3. Whitney Autumn says:

    A lovely, timely read. I believe Yahweh lead me to this devotional today. Prayers as I ponder and discern where He will lead me next.

  4. Sarah Morrison says:


  5. Marilyn Jones says:

    God knew what his people need at that time. Paul was very important to God.

  6. Truth Seeker says:

    VICTORIA E ! I grew up in Thousand Oaks from age 5 – 18. Born in Hollywood CA my parents moved to T.O. just before my fifth birthday. At that time there were 2 main roads – which the shepherds used to move their flocks – an outside mall and not much else.
    By the time I was 18 it had become a huge city with a massive indoor mall right off of the main highway and it took forever to get from one side of the city to where ever you had to get to. That is why I left the state of CA as soon as I was able.
    Soooo glad to hear that the baby is healthy and growing and that God is blessing you so very much.
    I love knowing where all the SRT ladies are from.
    Blessings on you and baby and hubby !

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