Together in Christ: 'Sharing Our Best to Reach the Rest' — Acts 13:1-4

Saturday, August 31, 2024

Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called "the black man" ), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas ), and Saul. One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them." So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.

So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus.

— Acts 13:1-4 NLT

Key Thought

Luke lists the five essential leaders in the multi-cultural church in Antioch. These very different leaders from different cultures and races led this exemplary church. Jesus had sent the Holy Spirit to lead the early disciples in their mission to reach all people of all nations. [1] So, the Spirit reveals God's will to the church in Antioch: send two of your best and finest leaders to continue this mission so that other people can know God's grace!

For me, dear friend in Christ, this passage reveals some important truths I must keep in mind when I assemble with other believers:

  • God wants us to be open to Him and His leading through the Spirit as we worship, pray, and fast.
  • Our worship must be Spirit-led and Spirit-filled.
  • Our worship should prompt and empower us to live Jesus' mission.
  • We should encourage our best and brightest to be ready to be sent on Jesus' mission into the world.
  • We should send our people to accomplish God's mission with prayer and fasting.
  • Our relationships in Jesus and with His church family must focus on breaking down barriers of fellowship among us and encouraging each other to take our love for Jesus and share it with others worldwide!

    [1] Acts 1:8.
  • Today's Prayer

    Loving Father, fill us, Your children, with the Holy Spirit. Stir us and speak to our hearts about the mission You long for us to accomplish. Open our eyes to our mission. Help us see that Your mission isn't just a task to accomplish but also an extension of Your love and saving grace. Empower us to redeem all who are lost in sin, isolation, prejudice, and despair. We ask for Your help as we seek to live Your priorities in our world. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

    Related Scripture Readings

    • Acts 1:12-26
    • Acts 15:36-16:10

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    Illustration

    Illustration of Acts 13:1-4 NLT — Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called "the black man" ), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas ), and Saul. One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them." So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.

So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus.

    About This Devotional

    Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

    'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.