36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Living God’s Word: Paul never lost his great burden to preach the gospel (Romans 1:15; 15:20; 1 Corinthians 1:17; 9:16; Galatians 2:2). At the same time, however, he maintained a pastor’s concern for the growth of his converts. Ministry is not either evangelism or edification; it is both. Christians have a dual role—to be both spiritual obstetricians and spiritual pediatricians. We help others become “born again” (John 3:3), and we aid them in growing up spiritually (1 Peter 2:2). We may have strengths in one area or the other, but like Paul, we should keep both goals in view.
Words to Live By: After disagreement over John Mark, two missionary teams are sent out from Antioch. Believers are also sinners (even Paul and Barnabas) and will at times have sharp disagreements. Yet, God promises to work all things for good, even our faults and failings (cf Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20), as He forgives our sins in Christ.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, when dissension arises among Your people, forgive our sins and continue to work among us, even through our conflicts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Living and Sharing the Word of God… because it matters!
Pastor Rod Lindemann
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The Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Words to Live by and Prayer: Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (2002). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Purchase a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible at www.cph.org or contact Rod Lindemann.
Living God’s Word: Adapted from Life Application, Barton, B. B. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.