ACTS – The Acts of God
Sometimes in any given group situation there might be too many leaders in one spot. God sees that. Sometimes there are not enough leaders and the flocks are confused and disjointed. God knows that, too. Sometimes He allows a “shake up” to occur in leadership so we can learn about Who is really in control. It is amazing how God can always take a bad situation and turn it to the good of His work to save the lost.
There are too many leaders in Antioch so antsy Paul tells Barnabas, let’s go check on the churches we have visited previously with a heart and and mind to encourage them. A quarrel ensues about taking along Mark who had “jumped ship” earlier in their travels. Paul didn’t trust Mark who let him down.
But see how God uses this tenuously situation to divide these two strong leaders to go to twice the places, doubling their efforts in the mission to preach The Message to congregations. They ALSO each take a person whom they can mentor and partner, again doubling the effort! Paul takes Silas. Barnabas takes John Mark.
Remember God does not need us to accomplish His work but He invites us to His work, equips us for that moment in mission so that we may grow in our understanding of love, mercy, and grace. Love God. Love Others. Bottom line. Staying focused on the bottom line grows our relationship with God and others.
Don’t get rattled by disagreements in God’s church. Pray and see what God can do through the circumstance. He is ALWAYS at work. And never stop loving each other. Never.
Acts 15, The Message
Barnabas and Paul Go Their Separate Ways
30-33 And so off they went to Antioch. On arrival, they gathered the church and read the letter. The people were greatly relieved and pleased. Judas and Silas, good preachers both of them, strengthened their new friends with many words of courage and hope. Then it was time to go home. They were sent off by their new friends with laughter and embraces all around to report back to those who had sent them.
35 Paul and Barnabas stayed on in Antioch, teaching and preaching the Word of God. But they weren’t alone. There were a number of teachers and preachers at that time in Antioch.
36 After a few days of this, Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit all our friends in each of the towns where we preached the Word of God. Let’s see how they’re doing.”
37-41 Barnabas wanted to take John along, the John nicknamed Mark. But Paul wouldn’t have him; he wasn’t about to take along a quitter who, as soon as the going got tough, had jumped ship on them in Pamphylia. Tempers flared, and they ended up going their separate ways: Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus; Paul chose Silas and, offered up by their friends to the grace of the Master, went to Syria and Cilicia to build up muscle and sinew in those congregations.
Something to think about…
Throughout history Christians have struggled with unity and contention. How have you handled these issues throughout your life?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help us to see through the disagreement to discovering what You want to do because of it. Maybe there are too many leaders. Maybe there aren’t enough leaders. Whatever the case, way we all FOLLOW You. Continue your work to transform us to be and do all you intended for us. Lord, I offer my life to you.
In Jesus Name, Amen