trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Home Again

 And stories to tell. Acts 14.24-28

The Gentiles Question Resolved (3)

Pray Psalm 125.1, 2.
Those who trust in the LORD
Are like Mount Zion,
Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the LORD surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever.

Sing Psalm 125.1, 2.
(St. Gertrude: Onward, Christian Soldiers)
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!
Like the hills surrounding safe Jerusalem,
Christ surrounds His Church and holds her in His mighty Hand!
Refrain, v. 1
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!

Read Acts 14.1-28; meditate on verses 24-28.

Preparation
1. Where did Paul and Barnabas end up?

2. What did they do there?

Meditation

We might wonder why Paul and Barnabas didn’t go back to Cyprus, to check on the work there. Cyprus seems merely to have been a stopover on the way to the Asian mainland. We don’t read of any converts there, except for the proconsul Sergius Paulus. The apostles decided to head back to Antioch after having retraced their steps, except for Cyprus. They obviously felt a need to report on their work to their “home church.”

The church in Antioch of Syria had graciously sent Paul and Barnabas out, so the people there would have wanted to hear about the results of the mission. The focus of the report was on the work God did in bringing many Gentiles to faith (v. 27). We see a couple of principles at work here, one of accountability and one of unity.

Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch for “a long time,” no doubt continuing to strengthen the churches there through their preaching and teaching. We see how important it was to the apostles that churches be established and put in order. Christ’s agenda is to build His Church (Matt. 16.18), and the book of Acts shows us what this, the ongoing work of Christ, involves. Acts provides a template for launching, establishing, and dispersing the work of the Kingdom through churches that are properly ordered for worship, shepherding, disciple-making, and witness.

The work of the Kingdom – reconciling the world to God – comes through the Church, and local churches as expressions of the one worldwide Body of Christ. We can learn much from what we’ve seen in Paul’s first missionary journey about the local church and the ongoing work of Christ.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Home is where we feel as if we belong. Cozy and secure.

On earth, God has planned for us to be in a family, in a community, in a church. These are the places we find structure, guidance, and love.

But what if home might be only an idea? Something longed for but maybe not experienced?

Then there’s the community. Do we belong there either?

Finally, there’s the church. But is that what it should be? Is it a welcoming, loving, and accepting place? Strike three, for some.

But God. In His mercy, has prepared a place for us. A home base. In His heart now. And eventually with Him in heaven. “I will take you as My people, and I will be your God” (Ex. 6.7). “You shall be My people, and I will be your God” (Jer. 30.22).

Paul and Barnabas went back to their home church to tell them of their adventures. The people were eager to hear all they had to share and encouraged them in their work. That is as it should be.

But just in case you don’t experience home as it should be, let’s concentrate on God’s heart as our home: “Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young—even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You” (Ps. 84.3, 4).

And Jesus says to us, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know” (Jn. 14.1-4).

Because we know what it is like to long for home, we must work hard to make sure those in our Personal Mission Field feel at home with Jesus, the church, and with us. A spiritual home. A place to settle in and be safe with Jesus. Peter said that we can cast all our care upon the Lord Jesus because He cares for us” (1 Pet. 5.7). He is the way, the truth, and the life, and the only way to Home Security (Jn. 14.6).

For reflection

1. In a very real sense, Jesus is our home, our destination, our dwelling-place. Explain.

2. What makes a local church feel like a home? What do you contribute to your church to make it a home?

3. The work of the Kingdom is “reconciling the world to God”. What does that mean for your Personal Mission Field?

As ambassadors returning from a mission usually give an account of their acts, so Paul and Barnabas give to the church a complete account of their travels, in order to show how faithfully they carried out their ministry and at the same time to encourage the believers to give thanks to God, for the actual situation was affording ample grounds for doing so. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Acts 14.27

Pray Psalm 125.3-5.
Pray that God will guard you against all wickedness and temptation, and that He will use you today as an ambassador of good to the people in your Personal Mission Field.

Sing Psalm 125.1, 3-5.
(St. Gertrude: Onward, Christian Soldiers)
Wickedness shall rest not on this holy land;
sinfulness shall never come forth from their hand. 
Trusting in the Savior, firm in His caress,
ever shall His favor on this holy city rest.
Refrain, v. 1
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!

Lord, do good and care for those upright in heart.
All who turn to evil shall from You depart.
Sinful men may increase, on their way to hell!
Save Your people, let your peace abound in Israel!
Refrain 

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking theScriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.

Are you praying daily for revival, renewal, and awakening in our world? Our book Restore Us! shows you why you should and how you can. It includes prayer guides for personal or group use. You can order a free copy by clicking here.

If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal or Anedot, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.And stories to tell. Acts 14.

 

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.

No items in cart