Read thru New Testament Devotional – July 9, 2017

July 9

 

Acts 15:22-40

Acts 15:22-35-The apostles and elders decided to send Judas called Barsabbas and Silas ("leading men among the brethren", :22) back to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas with a letter explaining their decision.  Judas and Silas were prophets and they "encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message" (:32).  Silas stayed along with Paul and Barnabas in Antioch.

Acts 15:36-Paul and Barnabas decide to visit the brethren in the cities that they had met on their first trip.  Barnabas wanted to take John Mark...but Paul refused, saying that they should not take him because he had “deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work” (:38).  The word “desert” is a strong term suggesting to “fall away, to become faithless”.  We are not aware of exactly what happened…but Paul had a very strong opinion of the matter.  Paul and Barnabas sharply disagreed and decided to go in different directions...Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus (following the route that he and Paul had taken on their first trip), and Paul took Silas (going in the opposite direction).

Prayer: Father, Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement, here...it doesn't appear to have been a theological matter, but rather, that Paul did not trust Mark due to their prior experience.  They went separate directions...and yet, they both continued to serve You.  Often in the church we find ourselves disagreeing.  Please help us to be able to disagree...but not allow it to keep us from serving You.

 

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