Today’s Reading: Acts 13
Key Verse: Acts 13:2-3
As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
Saul (later Paul) was sent by the Jerusalem Church to his home city of Tarsus (ch 9). Later, Barnabas was sent to find Saul (ch 11) and they settled in Antioch. Saul may have served the Lord here for a dozen years before the Holy Spirit revealed God’s plan for a missionary team that would reach other communities. The local Church is where mentoring takes place, and where ministry gifts can be developed. Our brothers and sisters who know us best will witness to God’s call. It was in Cyprus that Saul (means “big”) became known as Paul (means “little”). Perhaps when Saul exercised great authority, as recorded in verses 9 to 12, Barnabas recognized that Saul needed reminding to keep humble. In 2 Cor. 12:7-10, Paul tells how God intervened to help keep him humble. The “thorn in the flesh” kept Paul from becoming “exalted above measure.” God knows our weaknesses and deals with us accordingly.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, please help me to preach and teach the Scriptures. Lord Jesus, You urged me to pray “the Lord of the harvest would send forth laborers into His harvest field” (Matt 9:38). You answered Your prayer in the Antioch Church by calling two people into full-time service. Do this again in our day, I pray. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
In the “Our Father,” Jesus tells us, “When you pray, say…” In our prayer for “laborers” (not big preachers or executives), we recognize that this is a call to, as Churchill put it, “blood, sweat and tears.” It’s a call to die to personal ambition or any kind of self-seeking. For Paul it meant genuine hardship. Check out 2 Cor. 11:23-33. I ask myself upon reading these verses, “Do I still want everything God has planned for my life?” Yes! I would like to be somewhere nearby when Paul stands before the believers’ judgment (2 Cor. 5:10). God’s call is the most serious calling in the universe. Obedience is priority one.
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