Topic: Disciplinarian versus encourager
Opening Prayer: Grant me depth of insight, revelation and knowledge as I meditate on this passage, O Lord.
Scripture: Acts 15:30-41
Question(s) for Reflection
• Is there any example for me to follow or not to follow?
• Is there any warning for me to heed?
Notice the response of the people to the elders’ message. When our decision is well thought out, directed by the Holy Spirit and effectively administered, it brings joy and peace to the body of Christ. The trip also exposed Silas to, cross-cultural mission. He and Judas ‘encouraged and strengthened’ the brethren. Notice they were prophets (v. 32 cf. 13: 1a).
He must have also developed rapport with Paul during their time together. It was, therefore, easy for Paul to invite Him to join his mission team when the need arose. What do you learn from v. 36? Consider the reason for the disagreement between these two giants of faith. Who was right, Paul or Barnabas? Paul, a disciplinarian and no-nonsense man cannot stomach any sloppiness. Mark deserted the mission previously (Acts 13:13). He cannot be relied upon.
But Barnabas is an encourager. His encouraging spirit had served Paul earlier (Acts 9:26-27; 11:25-26). Why not Mark too? God raised two missionary teams from this disagreement just like He has done in Church history to expand His work. You don’t need to consider the other brother an archenemy because of your slight doctrinal disagreement. E.g., should baptism be by sprinkling, by dunking in a flowing river, in church baptistry or swimming pool (each leading to different denominations)?
Paul later acknowledged the encourager’s ministry in the life of Mark (2 Timothy 4:11).
• And So? Do you view other denominations or Christian fellowships as complements or competitors?
• Any new insight or reinforcement of what you already know?
• Pray that God may fulfil His purpose in the ministry of each group.
• Pray for Christian writers, artistes and producers.
Offer a prayer of faith in line with Jeremiah 17:7; Habakkuk; Col. 3
Scripture Union Daily Guide 5 November 2021. Scripture Union is an international, interdenominational, evangelical Christian organization. It was founded in 1867, and works in partnership with individuals and churches across the world. The organization’s stated aim is to use the Bible to inspire children, young people and adults to know God.
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