Monday, December 3, 2018

GOD’S CALL

Today’s Reading: Acts 13

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

This is Antioch. Today it is called Antakya in Turkey. Saul (Paul) and Barnabas were sent out from here as missionaries. Tradition says that Peter pioneered the Church here. At first, as was the Jewish custom, they spoke in the synagogue, but those who believed then gathered in a cave for Christian worship.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Acts 13:2-3

As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

 

In chapter 9, Saul (later Paul) was sent by the Jerusalem Church to his home city of Tarsus. In chapter 11, Barnabas is sent from Jerusalem to find Saul. Barnabas and Saul settle in Antioch. Saul may have served the Lord here for a dozen years as a faithful local church member before the Holy Spirit revealed God’s plan for a missionary team which would reach other communities.

It is essential that God’s people remain faithful in a local Church. This is where mentoring takes place, and where ministry gifts can be developed providing the Senior Pastor has the New Testament Vision. The experience at a home Church will confirm whether or not God has called us to a larger place in ministry. Our brothers and sisters who know us best will witness to God’s call. It was in Cyprus that Saul (which means “big”) became known as Paul (which means “little”). Perhaps when Saul exercised great authority, as recorded in verses 9 to 12, Barnabas recognized that Saul needed to constantly be reminded to stay humble. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul tells us that God intervened to help keep him humble. The “thorn in the flesh” was so that Paul would not become “exalted above measure.” God knows our weaknesses and deals with us accordingly. Paul, educated in the rabbinical schools, knew his Hebrew Bible. Notice how he bases his preaching on God’s Word.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, please help me to preach and teach the Scriptures. Help me to learn from Paul’s way of communicating Your Word. Lord Jesus, You urged me to pray that “the Lord of the harvest would send forth labourers into His harvest field” (Matthew 9:38). You answered Your prayer request in the Antioch Church by calling two people into full-time service. Do this again and again in our day, I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

For years now, I’ve tried to remember to pray Jesus’ prayer request each morning. In the “Our Father,” Jesus tells us, “When you pray, say…” In our prayer for “labourers” (not big preachers or executives), we recognize that this is a call to, as Churchill put it, “blood, sweat and tears.” It’s a call to die to personal ambition or any kind of self-seeking. For Paul it meant genuine hardship. Check out 2 Corinthians 11:23-33. I ask myself upon reading these verses, “Do I still want everything God has planned for my life?” YES, YES, and YES!!!! I would like to be somewhere nearby when Paul stands before the Lord in the believer’s judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10). I must never take God’s call lightly. It is the most serious calling in the universe. Obedience must be my #1 priority.

Yours for a greater understanding of God’s call on your life and mine,

David

P.S. The photo of modern Antioch was the first one taken by my eldest son, Reynold, on a trip across Turkey, Greece, and Italy. He is the professional photographer in our family, as well as a missionary with his wife Kathy (Paul made tents to support his missionary calling). Check out their missions website HERE. Ron, my younger son, is also an ordained minister. He and his wife Ann proofread every blog before it’s posted and add any needed links. Their marriage ministry website is HERE. Thank you, my sons and spouses!

15 thoughts on “Monday, December 3, 2018

  1. Incredible first photo and history in line with our scripture reading. Proof is everywhere of the existence of Jesus and His disciples. Today marks the 2nd anniversary of my beautiful Mom, Jean’s passing. Thinking of you in heaven, Mom! Wishing all saints a blessed day in the Lord.

    “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14 NIV

    Nat King Cole – “The Christmas Song” (1961)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwacxSnc4tI

  2. You were blessed, Beverley, to have a wonderful mom (as was I). We will meet again!! Lost my husband of 56+ years @ Christmas. Looking forward to that reunion also. God is good.

  3. Lord God Almighty in Jesus Name I pray and thank you for filling me with Your Holy Spirit. Forgive me when I failed You. Lord thank You, You are Faithful in all Your ways. Lord I pray that in this stage of my life that in some way, I will be used for Your Glory, Amen!
    “Faithful One, so unchanging,
    Holy One You are the Rock of Love,
    Lord of all I depend on you
    I cry out to You again and again.
    You are the Rock of my salvation
    You lift me up when I fall down
    All through the storm.
    Your love is my anchor,
    My hope is in You alone!!

    Thank you Ron and Ann and Reynold for continuing to provide us with this blog, daily manna. The scriptures, David’s prayer, the photos, the words of wisdom imparted to us by David; his “100 Personal Words”.
    An inspiration for us all.
    I pray the Lord be with you and keep you in the Palm of His hand, Norma-Jean, and your family as you celebrate this Christmas together.

  4. What an unique photo of Antioch Reynold! Love the scripture today and the account of Paul’s life; that experience on the Damascus Road with the Lord Jesus changed his life to endure all the sufferings listed in 2 Corinthians 11. What a Saviour! What a man of God! Had recorded your Mother’s passing Beverlee in 2016. Thank God for our Christian mothers who stay true to the Lord. Amen.

    • Thanks Ger, but I wouldn’t describe my mother in those terms. She was a good person who had no enemies and everyone loved. She took us to church when we were little but never read the Bible nor continued to go to church; watched Sunday church, once a week. We spoke of Jesus well before her deathbed. Alas, I am certain she is in heaven.

  5. Amen Beverlee, Doreen and Irene. The storm is over, misty rain falling and snow coming off my steel roof. Yes, we thank the Mainse family for their faithfulness in this blog. Blessings!

  6. Blessings to everyone,
    TY Lord for Rick the mechanic, he found a hubcap, installed the oddmeter,changed the tires,God bless him Lord, he works long,long hours, sometimes I take him a meal, it is appreciated TY Lord May he begin to turn to You Lord for his daily bread,
    had a Tree Light up at the church last night, glad I went,things have changed,I thank God for helping me to forgive those who have trespassed against me,
    Waiting Lord for You to send me the right person for a “room mate” of sorts, must be someone who works,non/smokes/booze/pets;/parties/ have had very nice people pray the Lord will bless me with another person soon, TY Lord for hearing our Prayers, TY for all the blessings of this day, Bless Brandi and her family,bless Mitch and heal Ike, bless Shawn, and heal Ed, TY Lord in Jesus Name I Pray amen

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