Set apart for an exciting mission todayActs tells the good news of the founding of the Christian church in Jerusalem and how, when oppression and persecution drove Christians from Jerusalem, the disciples scattered and the church spread to Antioch. Their message was that all people could be free: that Jesus Christ, entering the political arena with grace - undeserved love for all who believed, was going to change the world's thinking about how to order a society. Those who could see this new way of having the chains in their life taken off and who could see how collaborating rather than being in competition could radically change their world, were rejoicing.
We are told in Chapter 13:2 how a diverse group of people, including prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria, were singing praises and loving their Lord deeply. The worship service was vibrant. The worshippers adored their Lord, who had turned their life of chains into a life of ultimate freedom. They were singing and proclaiming Christ's salvation, acknowledging Christ's mighty deeds, for they knew their God, their Lord reigns! Acts tells us how absolutely enthralled the gathered community were with their Lord.
Additionally, we read that the worshippers were fasting so that they could be alert to hear what their Lord had to say to them. In this intense loving and holy moment, the Holy Spirit answered: Up until now, the good news of Christ's saving grace was shared with Jews, but now they were called to give the good news to the Gentiles. They were called to broaden their vision and Barnabas and Saul, later called Paul, were called to lead the team to go out and witness to this new way of relating that would change the world.
Are we willing to worship that deeply and intensely?
Are we willing to do what is asked of us?
(If Barnabas and Saul had said: "Noooo way, this mission is impossible!" just imagine what would have happened? It is not nice to contemplate...)
Are you willing to love the Lord deeply in worship? Are you willing to enjoy the delight in being called to serve the Lord abundantly as your Lord has served you? The Holy Spirit came to those who were praising, those who were honouring, those who knew they would be led to do great things. May your worship be lovely, your listening for the Holy Spirit be deep, and your new mission or continued mission be an exciting venture that will matter and bring new life to those around you.
Let us hear once more
The greatness of your salvation.
Let us speak boldly of your grace,
And take hold of your mission to our world.
May we honour you now and forever,
|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." (Acts13:2)|
Pat Baxter: "I love the passion God gives us to do mission. After 31 years of ordained ministry I am more in love with God than ever. My latest passion is to learn to paint the beauty that God has given us." (Pat serves as the Ministry Secretary of General Assembly)
THIS BRINGS US TO THE END OF THE UPCSA MONTH OF MISSION.
You can download the whole month's devotions by clicking HERE.