DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-02-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Acts 13:1-3
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 1 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. 2 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.” 3 So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.
APPLICATION: Often, while at local restaurants or, perhaps at town parties, we will see Pastor’s and church leaders entertaining, what appears to be, the rich and important people of the town. At times we might also see local pastors enjoying a meal together, and it overjoys our heart to see stressed out pastors take time to enjoy fellowship with their peers. Church leaders are often asked to join in partnership with other church leaders to stand firm against local and national leaders on certain controversial matters, and we are so happy to see that our leaders could actually sit at the table with other church leaders and talk things over. So which of the aforementioned scenarios remind you of what was taking place in the meeting of the Antioch leadership? As I meditated on this scripture, I was overcome with thoughts as I recalled the number of times church leaders questioned their pastor about his minimal time in the office; or his lack of administrative time and qualities; or the large budget that he asks for each year; or demanded to know what was he doing to save their dying church. Friends, we demand so much from our pastors that has so very little to do with the quality, and quantity, of time they spend seeking God’s face for His church. What if our mission was to see them imitate the teachers and prophets mentioned in today’s Scripture? What might we aim to point our pastors and church leaders towards? How might we pray for them and encourage them? I have always said that the results of what we see in our pulpits, come from the extent of our prayers for our pastors. We might criticize them in the pulpit, but how well are they really doing in response to our prayers for Almighty God to fill them; bless them; and use them for His glory? To our pastors, teachers and church leaders: please don’t think for a moment that it’s all the fault of your congregation. If you were to break down your day into quadrants of time, which quadrant might receive the most time? Might it be prayer? Meditation on the Word of God? Ministering to a church member? Encouraging, praying for and blessing another worker of the Gospel? Don’t you know that Satan will send many distractions your way, especially when you don’t have a dedicated and committed schedule for your day? Are you really spending sufficient uninterrupted; quiet; prayerful time together with God that He might minister to, and through, you with a feeling like: He is interfering in your worldly schedule for the day? Let me assure pastors, teachers, church leaders and most of all, myself, that our God’s not dead; nor does He sleep; nor is He blind to the needs in our lives and the life of His bride (the church). He is still looking for workers, because the fields are still white, and the harvest is still great, if only He could find the dedicated leaders and followers who want more of Him and all that He has to offer through us. For every friend that you might speak with today, know that there are hundreds of other lost and uncommitted friends who are looking for answers to this world’s dilemmas and overwhelming challenges in their life. God, working through His powerful Holy Spirit in you, can have such an awesome impact on these individuals for the Kingdom of God, if only we will submit, and commit to His cause. Will you let go, and let God have His way in you today dear pastor, teacher, church leader, and/or child of God? Are you truly ready, and willing, to accept the next BIG project that He has planned for you? Most leaders in our society not only work hard each day, but they are responsible for extracurricular things like: attending conferences; networking with peers who handle very similar issues that they are faced with daily. these things keep their minds fresh, active and reaching for new and/or innovative ways that might add to the success of their job. They don’t just sit and wait for gold to drop into their laps. So it is with Christian ministry. We must be willing to reach out to others so that together we might not only seek God and His righteousness, but also be encouraged to continue pressing for the mark with full faith and trust in the God who can do all things through His servants that are willing to let Him.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: The results of Paul and Barnabas being chosen, became extraordinary as God completed His work through His servants. He is still God, and can do the same for us today!
PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, we can all see the need for Jesus in our world today, as everything seems totally out of man’s control. Please humble our hearts to standby and be willing to accept Your blessing and Your challenge, knowing that nothing is too difficult for You. Please keep us humble and always praying for our church leaders, knowing that You will complete a good work in them, and also in us as we commit to Your service. Thank You Father for Your Word. May we always choose to live according to Your plan, so that Your Kingdom might increase, and friends will no longer avoid Your call on their life. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!