THURSDAY OCTOBER 12
SCRIPTURE: Acts 13
BY: Josh Boles
This chapter opens to the sending off of Barnabas and Saul and there are some truly amazing things here I would like to discuss. We are about halfway through the book of Acts and we have come a long way from just 120 people in the upper room in Acts 2. It is important to note that the Church is no longer just an assembly of people, but now a strong organization that is equipping leaders and sending off missionaries.
If we go back to Acts 11 we see that the church in Antioch had been actively proclaiming the Gospel to the Gentiles and Paul and Barnabas participated in this as well. Before we get in to the commissioning part of this chapter, I think me must stop and think about this. Paul, and the rest of the “prophets and teachers” (which by the way in the New Testament just implies that they were officers of the church,) are not waiting to be “sent” somewhere before they share the Gospel. They are not waiting for a sign, or grand intervention from the Lord. They are simply being obedient to the Holy Spirit and to Jesus’ words found in Acts 1:8. In verse two because of their obedience, the Lord sets them aside for a grand purpose.
The next portion of this chapter is lengthy but I would encourage you to read it carefully. The bulk of this is describing their missionary journey, but in verse 16 Paul gets up and and gives an interesting speech. He gives a history from Exodus to Jesus in just a few verses. This is so important for us to take in. The promise of salvation had been passed down through generations through the line of Abraham fulfilling the promise given to God’s chosen people. As we read in verse 26 those of us who “fear God’’ have been given the message of salvation.
God’s plan for salvation always was, is, and always will be Jesus. From the calling of Abraham, to the Exodus, Jesus was there and was the model of salvation. This is important for us because the Gospel’s work in our life isn't happenstance or a coincidence. It is a well thought out plan set into motion thousands of years ago worked down through the generations. The amazing thing about all of this is that God chooses to use us to carry this great hope with us wherever we go.
The big take away here is that you don't need to wait on anything or anybody to carry the Gospel to those around you. Just as the church in Antioch was already worshiping, praying, and fasting together. More importantly, they were actively sharing their faith. If you are not involved in an active community of believers, you should be. If you are not constantly praying, and worshiping both privately and corporately, you should be. If you are not actively sharing this message of salvation with others, you not only should be, but it is the very reason you were put on this planet. You don’t need to wait for a sign, or a calling. You have already been called, just go! May we encourage one another and pray for each other for this divine purpose!