Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers.
When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission to Jerusalem, they returned [to Antioch], taking John Mark with them.
Luke tells us that "the word of God continued to spread." Part of what enabled that continued spreading of the message about Jesus was what Barnabas and Saul did: They recruited and included John Mark with them in their efforts. Barnabas encouraged the growth of the disciples in Antioch when he first arrived. He needed help, so he went to Tarsus, found Saul, and brought him back to help continue the growth.* Now, the two of them were adding another resource, John Mark, to their efforts. John Mark probably witnessed some of Jesus' ministry. His mother's home was a center for the apostles and the growth of the church in Jerusalem.* For the mission of Jesus and growth both in the number of disciples and in their spiritual maturity to continue, new leaders needed to be discovered, trained, and empowered as quickly and organically as possible. Barnabas and Saul chose John Mark to become one of these new leaders.
* See the Related Scripture Readings for details. As the readings show, Paul lost confidence in Mark at one point but Mark continued to serve, and Paul wanted him again later as part of his ministry.
Father, I need your guidance to help me know the people with whom you want me to invest my time and energy. I want to encourage and empower them to know Jesus, to serve him passionately, and to help others grow in their walk with Jesus. Give me wisdom, patience, and ongoing passion for doing these things well. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! 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.
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