8 November 2017

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READING: ACTS 13:1-3

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

REFLECTION

One thing I love about the church of Jesus Christ is the variety of people within it.

God’s love and grace is for everyone and we must never exclude anyone whom Christ has called to follow him.

The common thread among these five men mentioned in this passage is their deep faith in Christ.

Like the early church, if believers today spread the Gospel like our forefathers, then every church congregation will be comprised of people from different racial and cultural backgrounds.

We naturally are drawn towards people who are the same or similar to ourselves, but… the more we understand the gospel and embrace God’s vision of the body of Christ, we look past our differences and embrace each other as brothers and sisters.

Reaching out to the world with God’s love should be the number one priority for every church.

In this passage, we read that the church set apart Barnabas and Saul (Paul) to the work that God had for them. What was that work? Well…

This was the beginning of Paul’s first missionary journey, the church was involved in sending them out but it was God’s plan, and why did Paul and Barnabas go where they did?

1: The Holy Spirit led them
2: They followed the communication routes of the Roman empire, this made travel easier
3: They visited key population and cultural centres to reach as many people as possible
4: They went to cities with synagogues, speaking first to the Jews in hopes that they would see Jesus as the Messiah and help spread the Good News to everyone.

We as the church should dedicate our pastors, missionaries and Christian workers for their God given tasks.

We can also dedicate ourselves to use our time, money and talents for God’s work. If you’re not involved in your local church and helping spread the Gospel… then you need to be. Christianity is not a spectator sport… you must get involved… you must spend yourself on behalf of those who have not yet heard the good news.

These is still God’s work to be done… are you willing to go? Are you willing to give your all?

Don’t sit back any longer! It’s your time to be set apart: your gifts, talents, money and whole being along with your leaders in your local church for God’s work!

PRAYER

Father God, help us this day to obey your commands, follow your call and give all we have and are to see your church grow… may we make you famous in our day!

In Jesus name, Amen

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