June 21, 2018
GREAT RESULTS OFTEN MARKED BY GREAT RESISTANCE
The ministry of Paul and Barnabas was marked by great results and great resistance. It was in Antioch Pisidia that Luke first began to refer to “Saul” as “Paul.” It it was also at that time that Luke began to refer to this great missionary team in reverse order, instead of “Barnabas and Saul,” he called them “Paul and Barnabas.” Paul really came into his own at Antioch Pisidia, boldly declaring the gospel and standing firm against those who opposed it. Barnabas must have been pleased to see how the trust he had put into Paul was now being proved right.
Yet, even though “almost the entire city turned out” to hear Paul and Barnabas preach the gospel, the evil one was actively present to slander and resist. Great results are often marked by great resistance. Therefore, stand firm and keep on preaching! The Lord will prevail.
June 20, 2018
WHY ARE YOU HERE?
Paul and Barnabas traveled from Syrian Antioch to Antioch Pisidia (See Acts 13:14, in modern day Turkey), commissioned by the church to carry the gospel to the Gentiles. They were not tourists. They were not just passing through. They were “here” with a purpose. What purpose? To bring the Good News to the people in Antioch Pisidia.
Why are you “here?”
June 19, 2018
THE WORSHIP SERVICE THAT TURNED INTO A COMMISSIONING SERVICE
Five key leaders in the Antioch church were fasting and praying one day when the Spirit spoke to them. The Scripture does not say how the Spirit communicated. Did all of the men or only one hear the instruction? Was it an audible voice or an internal awareness? The Scripture doesn’t report whether the men were asking for direction. In fact, it appears they were simply having a time of worship together, as church leaders should always do. Regardless, the men heard the Spirit and obeyed.
The Spirit chose Barnabas and Saul. The order in which the five Antioch church leaders was listed placed Barnabas first and Saul last. Apparently, Barnabas was the senior pastor and Saul was the new guy. Yet, the Spirit put them together to build one of the greatest missionary teams in Christian history. The Spirit chose them for “special work.” What was this special work? It was to take the gospel to the Gentiles.
So, the leaders of the Antioch church immediately laid hands on Barnabas and Saul, commissioning them for special service, and sent them out.
June 21, 2016
As Paul and Barnabas traveled from city to city preaching the gospel, there were those that believed and those that rejected, and even those that persecuted them. Yet, regardless of response, the Word was “spreading throughout the whole region.” This is what news does, it spreads. How much more the Good News of Christ, which is the Gospel!
June 20, 2016
What more fitting epitaph of your life might be given than that you served God’s purpose in your own generation? Such was the summary of David’s life offered by the apostle Paul. God has a purpose for your life. It is both general and specific. It is general in that every person whom God has made, was made to glorify Him. It is specific in that each of us is called to serve God’s purpose in our “own generation,” offering our unique God-given gifts to serve His call. Two questions: 1) Do you know your specific purpose? 2) Are you obeying and trusting God to do it? As Queen Esther was asked, “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
June 18, 2016
Imagine attending a worship service that ends not with an invitation to go have lunch, but with a commissioning service that puts you on the next boat going out to sea. That’s what happened to Barnabas and Saul (“Paul”). Oh, to have worship services so Spirit-filled that people immediately surrender to do what God has called them to do. May churches around the world begin to experience an Antioch revival, a church known not for its seating capacity, but its sending capacity. Antioch, also called the “Cradle of Christianity,” where the Spirit called, and the people obeyed and went.