It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Sunday, November 05, 2006

My Study Notes Chapter 16 TO LIVE IS CHRIST

My Study Notes
Part IV, Chapter 16 TO LIVE IS CHRIST

Acts 15: 36-41

We will learn about the 2nd missionary journey with the Apostle Paul. We’ll see the importance of co-workers in the gospel and we will see how the Spirit of God uses flawed people like you and me.

They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Banabas took Mark and saled for Cyprus, but Paul choose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.

Acts 15: 39-40

Paul loved his sojourn in Antioch and the people and his partner Barnabas, but he felt compelled to go where the Spirit led.

When the Spirit of God moves within us we must move with Him or be miserable.

Now the Spirit of God called Paul to move again.

Acts 15: 36-41 tells us how Paul and Barnabas prepared to revisit the churches from their first Missionary journey. John Mark who had bailed out on the 1st journey wanted to go again and Barnabas said John goes with us, Paul said John stays. John went with Barnabas and Paul took Silas as his replacement.

Colossians 4:10 tells us that John Mark was Barnabas’s cousin. It was a difficult separation for Paul and Barnabas. Barnabas had been the first to welcome Paul among the brothers in Jerusalem. Together they had faced peril and persecution that bonds people together for a lifetime. Paul had wanted his dear friend to be with him.

Luke says in Acts 15:39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. They each had strong emotions about John Mark and toward each other.

Disagreements often cause people to choose sides. Romans 14:1 gives a guide for such moments. “ Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment or disputable matters.”

When we tend to get involved emotionally as judge and jury when people disagree, we should ask ourselves if someone always has to be right and another wrong.

Paul and Barnabas were both Spirit filled men yet they differed on whether John Mark should join them. Both me could have been under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit and yet still differ so that God could divide and multiply. God wanted these young preachers to train many more people. Now instead of just 1 team of two, He now had 2 teams of 2.

Scripture tells us most divisions are not of God, but Acts 1 suggests that sometimes God wants to divide and multiply. This happens in many of our own churches. Differences have caused many to divide and sometimes the results are disasterous.

If we don’t call on God to come to our rescue ministries and partnerships divide and dwindle rather than divide and multiply.

We can avoid turning convictions into contentions by using this 4 step plan for dealing with conflicts between believers.

1. Identify the real source of the argument. Ask the Holy Spirit to shed light on the true source. Part of spiritual maturity is risking our position in favor of the will and glory of God. Be willing to allow Him to shed light on any selfish or worldy motives we might have.

2. Submit the issue to God. James 4:7 tells us to “ Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Ephesians 4: 26-27 tells us not to sin in our anger and thereby give the devil a foothold. When we ask God to remove all selfish, worldly motives and influence of the enemy, issues often either disappear or down size to a workable level.

3. Resist the temptation to sin in your anger. Anger in itself is not sin. It is an emotion, and sometimes a very appropriate emotion. Each of us regrets something we’ve said or don in anger. Ask God to help when you are angry so that feelings don’t turn into wrong actions.

4. Pray for the other person involved and with that person if possible. Philippians 4-5 invites us to pray about everything. If we all could get down on our knees and pray together even though we are not together on every issue, at least we are together in prayer.

None of these steps are easy, but God can keep differing convictions from becoming contentions. We should be more open to people even if they have differing opinions. God can use sharp disagreements to prove that nothing is impossible with His help.

God can do anything!

Luke 1:37

‘On Ya’ – ma

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your bit about Paul and Barnabus both being Spirit filled but came up with different answers and then making two groups has really set me thinking. I am off to lead a prayer group tonight, i wonder if God has something to say.
Jenny <><