By Joshua Cooley
SPIRITUAL TRAINING WITH THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
When Trey Burton signed with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles as a rookie free agent in 2014, he could see divine fingerprints all over the deal. At the time, Burton, an undrafted multipurpose offensive player, was looking for both an NFL team and a spiritual home. He and his two younger brothers had grown up in a single-parent family after his father had left when he was two weeks old. Burton attended a Christian academy in grade school and professed faith in kindergarten, but as he got older, worldly temptations kept getting the best of him. He lacked spiritual fruit.
What can C.S. Lewis teach us about reconciliation?” asked my friend Dr. Claudia May, a professor of reconciliation studies. Although I’ve studied Lewis’s writings for years, this wasn’t a question I’d ever considered. In an increasingly divided climate—politically, religiously, and otherwise—reconciliation is an unavoidable topic. As Christians, we are motivated to engage in the work of reconciliation because we pursue the reconciling One who still calls, “Follow me.” Christ’s work in our world makes reconciliation more timeless than timely (2 Cor 5:19).
In the decades after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Apostle Paul planted churches throughout the northeastern Mediterranean region. His missionary work led to countless Christian converts, and he experienced miraculous displays of God’s power. He also encountered stiff resistance at times, leading to imprisonments and beatings.
The narrative of Paul’s journeys is recorded in the book of Acts. In the July/August issue of Bible Study Magazine, we invited authors to explore each episode of Paul’s initial westward mission, from Syria to Cyprus to Galatia. Future issues will take the series forward, looking at Paul’s second and third missionary journeys, as well as his voyage to Rome.
These passages in Acts depict the gospel’s steady advance beyond the communities of Judaism, taking the good news about Jesus into places where pagan deities and the Roman emperor were worshiped. This article below looks at Paul’s ministry on the island of Cyprus.