A Missionary Church - Acts 13

A Missionary Church

Acts 13:1-52

The church at Antioch began with "men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus."  We don't know their names, but they knew Jesus Christ.  "And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord."  The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to Antioch, who was happy with what he saw.  He then sought Saul, and brought him to the Antioch church, where they were actively involved in ministry.  Acts 11:20-26.

"Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers...."  The church was blessed with spiritual leaders.  The missionary outreach of a church is a good indicator of its spiritual leadership, or lack thereof.  All effective missionary work can be traced back to the Spirit of God.  While worshiping God, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

The church recognized the leading of the Spirit, and "having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away."  Acts 13:1-3. 

Jesus said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."  Matthew 9:37, 38.  At Antioch the Christians prayed, and those who were sent out by the church were also "sent out by the Holy Spirit."  Sent, "they went...."  Acts 13:4.  The Lord of the harvest sent out His laborers to bring in the harvest.

Just what is the ministry of the church?  Jesus said, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  Matthew 28:18-20.

Today it appears that missionary churches, displaying compassion for the lost and commitment to Christ, are blessed with men and women who volunteer for missionary service from within their ranks.  They may end up working with some missionary organization outside of the church, but they go with the blessing of the church.

Here's a question for you to ponder.  If the Lord wants you to serve Him as a missionary to Africa or Asia or someplace else, would you be willing to go?  If you are a committed Christian, without any hesitation your answer should be a resounding yes.  If that's His will for you, He'll make it clear.  In the meantime, it is God's will for you to be His witness wherever you are.  "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."  Acts 1:8.

 

Lord, we offer ourselves to You this day, praying that Your Spirit may have His rightful place in our lives.  Lead us into fields of fruitful service.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 

Through Many Tribulations - Acts 14 

 
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