Paul’s Footsteps #76

Footsteps #76

AD 49 -52 The second missionary journey. Acts 15:36 – 18:22 

Acts is the record of a Spirit-begotten, Spirit-filled, and Spirit-guided church. Christ was the theme, the church was the means, the Spirit was the power. Other great notes we have observed in this spiritual symphony are prayer, preaching, faith, joy, hope, courage, sacrifice, and victory. Acts is a dawn, a glorious sunrise, a bursting forth in a dark world of eternal light, it is a book precious beyond all price. Blessed is that Christian and that church that learns from the book of Acts the only effectual message and method for evangelizing the world. 

After the council of Jerusalem Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch where “They and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.” (Acts 15:35 NLT) It would appear this is the last time they worked together as a “sharp disagreement” (v39) occurred between when they decided to head off on another missionary tour to strengthen the churches they had established. Barnabas wanted to take his cousin John Mark, but Paul would not have it, arguing that he had deserted them in Pamphylia. (Acts 13:13). They therefore separated. “All things work together for good!” This caused a doubling of their efforts and a wider area could be covered. Barnabas took Mark and went to Cyprus (his homeland –Acts 4:36). Paul invited Silas to join him and they went through Syria and Cilicia “strengthening the churches”. 

Who can measure the results to the world of Paul’s lifework? Of all those humanitarian influences that alleviate suffering, that comfort sorrow, that restrains evil, that uplift life from the selfish and the sensual, and glorify it with the hope of immortality, how much is due to the labours and writings of Paul and his fellow workers. With the gospel of the Son of God in their hearts and lives, they made their unnoticed journey from Asia to the shores of Europe. 

What is it worth to any life to have been God’s instrument in setting in motion such influences of blessing? What will it be worth in eternity to witness the results of such a lifework?

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