Galatians 1:18-24 (NIV)
18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
21 Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.
I’ve read Galatians many times, but I never really noticed verse 24. The believers in Syria and Cilicia were praising God because of Paul. Our goal should not be the praise of others, but should be to live life in such a way that it brings glory to God and helps others do the same. This task is difficult, but God’s grace is sufficient.
On another note, God is being glorified around the world, especially in places where believers are being persecuted for following Jesus. We often get letters from friends in these places. Please pray for them. Many doing ministry in these countries are now being deported. Pray for their teams and pray for their transition back to the US. God is faithful, and we trust His work is continuing despite added persecution. Our friends in one place are praying for America and for believers here by name. Their thought is that if the United States perishes, the world perishes. I am humbled to know that believers in this place are praying for us by name and for our country. Their actions show me how great God is and how big His love is. Glory!