But the word of God continued to advance and gain adherents. Then after completing their mission Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem and brought with them John, whose other name was Mark.
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul. 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.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them.
Time and time again in conversations, classes, preaching moments, along with friends, colleagues and many others, we have expressed our desire to possess what may be described as a “Star Trek” witness of faith. Perhaps there are a few reading this devotional that are not science fiction fans. There have been several remakes and updates through the years but the original series featured the USS Enterprise. Captain Kirk and his Starship crew set out on a 5-year mission. When you listened closely to the voiceover that opened each episode, Captain Kirk could be heard communicating the space exploration mission focus by stating, “To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before”. It is the last line of this mission that should often describe the mission of our Christian faith and witness.
This short portion of Acts gives us an opportunity to see the growing and emerging Church at work in the world. The Good News was spreading rapidly and believers were being added to the Church. There was an excitement that many must have found exciting and comforting even in the midst of opposition, persecution and challenge. As Barnabas and Paul returned to Antioch from Jerusalem and were among numerous prophets and teachers, “the Holy Spirit said, set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” We have all been experiencing a season of isolation but we are listening for God’s direction and seeking guidance for our assignments in carrying out the work of the Church. Once again, we need a faith that will help us to boldly go where we have not gone before. As the Church is being called to an assignment in this season of a Pandemic, our methodologies will be challenged, but will our mission be strengthened by a faith that is willing to boldly go where we have not gone before? Praying and sharing with my colleagues and friends, the answer is yes!
I will be with you, I will be with you, I will be with you, If you will only trust Me, Trust Me, trust Me, I’ll never leave you, I’ll never leave you, I’ll never leave you, If you will only trust Me, Trust Me, trust Me, I’ll fight your battle, I’ll fight your battle, I’ll fight your battle, If you will only trust Me, Trust Me, trust Me, I am that I am, I have all power, I will deliver, If you will only trust Me, Trust Me, trust Me.
“Trust Me” Richard Smallwood & Vision