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Stoning of Paul at Lystra; Paul's second missionary journey with Silas; Paul's Macedonian vision; conversion of the Philippian jailer.
And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God (Acts 15:39-40).
Mark had left the ministry and returned home during the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas. On the second missionary journey, Barnabas determined to take Mark (15:37), his cousin, with them, but Paul did not believe it was God's Will.
Barnabas sharply disagreed with Paul's position and returned with Mark to his former home on the island of Cyprus (4:36-37, compare 15:39). Paul then chose Silas to be his associate. It may seem difficult at times to separate from those with whom we are close. However, we must remember we are in service to our Lord. Even though they may be close friends or even family, that does not mean their discernment is God's will at this time. We can't let that be a hinderance to our ministry. God still has a work to be done. To accomplish His Will, God will sometimes take his servants in opposite directions. God is the great orchestrator of people and events. Love God enough to follow Him. He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me (Matt. 10:37).
In defending his cousin, Barnabas attempted to overrule the God-ordained leadership of Paul. He let personal feelings keep him from fulfilling his original calling as an associate of the Apostle Paul in the ministry of the Gospel (Acts 13:2).
After this event, Paul was the one who was recommended by the brethren, but we have no record of God's blessing upon the ministry of Barnabas. We will find very quickly that being in God's Will is what makes us worthy to build His Kingdom. God can't use those who follow their own path rather than Him. Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me (Matt. 19:21).
Many today are no longer being used by God because their personal feelings were hurt and they quit because they disagree with some insignificant decision of God's appointed leader. Often we miss God's best for our lives because we make our own decisions without first consulting the Holy Spirit. Nothing can surpass the joy of being in the center of God's perfect will.
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be castaway (1 Cor. 9:27).
Thought for Today:
Do not live by thought or by your feelings, but by faith in God's Word.
For Acts 15:16-17: See Amos 9:11-12.
14:2 made their minds evil affected = influenced them to be hostile; 14:8 impotent = weak, helpless, crippled; 15:10 yoke = burden.
Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:12