Sunday, October 11, 2015

EmmDev 2015-10-11 [Month of Mission 2015] Answering the Call

Answering the Call

In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.      (Acts13:1-3)
As we reflect on the sending out of Barnabas and Saul(Paul) let us remember that this is another response to the Great Commission (Mt.28:18f). The Great Commission offers five foundation stones on which Paul and Barnabas built as they brought the church to Asia Minor (modern day Turkey and Greece).
  1. The Audience of the Commission:
    The audience originally receiving the instructions were the eleven disciples (learner, follower). We can learn from them the aspect of obedience because carrying out the work demands submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
  2. The Authority of the Commission:
    In the field we need an enablement because the mission is not our mission but God's. Therefore, the authority of the Great Commission is our Lord Jesus Christ (who came, who died, who rose and who will return in glory)
  3. The Assignment of the commission:
    As the commander gives commands to the army, there is always an assignment to be fulfilled by the soldiers. Therefore, commissioning goes with an assignment and the assignment of this mission from Jesus Christ was to "make disciples". As a denomination, we have an assignment and that assignment is of making disciples. People ought to see how Christ has influenced our lives in order for them to follow.
  4. The Activities involved in the commission:
    The activities involved in carrying out this mission would involve "Going, Baptising and Teaching." This month we have an opportunity, beloved, of making Christ Known to the world through the proper interpretation of the word of God.
  5. The Assurance of the Commission:
    We are assured of his presence all the time. The assuring promise of Christ in carrying out is "I am with you always" even to the end of the age.

The church in Antioch is now the audience of the Commission - not only will two be sent, but the congregation will be the faithful senders. (Paul will return to Antioch as his "home base" on numerous occasions.) Paul and Barnabas are sent out in authority as the Holy Spirit guided the church to set them apart. Over the next few chapters of Acts we will see Paul and Barnabas carry out their assignment of planting churches and making disciples who in turn make disciples. We see them carry out the activities of going, baptising and teaching and we see the assurance of God's presence - no matter what hardships they face, God brings them through.

As the church let us follow in the footsteps of the disciples and Paul and Barnabas and may His Grace be upon each one even as we serve Him this month and beyond.

Reverend Jacob Manda is a Minister at Grace Presbyterian Church in Livingstone Zambia. He loves the Lord and Service to mankind is part of his ministry

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