Finally, [Paul and Barnabas] returned by ship to Antioch of Syria, where their journey had begun. The believers there had entrusted them to the grace of God to do the work they had now completed. Upon arriving in Antioch, they called the church together and reported everything God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, too. And they stayed there with the believers for a long time.
— Acts 14:26-28 NLT
Luke pulls together so many important principles in these few sentences:
- Returning to rejoice with those who supported and sent you on mission.
- Being accountable for the mission you were sent to accomplish.
- Reminding ourselves that we are all part of the mission whether we send, support, pray, or go — it takes us all to make God's mission happen.
- Connecting to believers all over the world who need to know the good things God is doing.
- Rejoicing in God who makes our mission efforts possible and effective.
I fear that we sometimes feel like our ministry and mission efforts are our own doing. In his report about Barnabas and Paul, Luke reminds us that it takes God's power and a spiritual family to make world mission efforts effective. We must not forget that we are partners with God,* and with brothers and sisters all over the world, in the work of world missions. We rejoice that we are not alone in this important work. We are thankful that we are not dependent on just our own efforts. We praise God who empowers us through the Holy Spirit to do the work Jesus called us to do!
O Father, thank you for calling us to join you in your mission to love and redeem the people of our world. Thank you, Jesus, for giving us this mission. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for guiding us and empowering us to do this mission. Thank you for all of your people, dear God, who join together to pray, send, go, and reach people of all nations. We look forward to meeting these brothers and sisters from every language, tribe, nation, and people as we celebrate around your throne. In Jesus' name, we praise you. Amen.