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Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

By Pastor Alex Ruelo

Acts 15:36-41 says “Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.”

This is the second missionary journey of Paul. They got back and reported what they did to everybody. After some time, Paul asked Barnabas to go and visit all the churches again. Barnabas wanted to bring John Mark along, but Paul did not want to. They argued and agreed to disagree. Barnabas brought John Mark and Paul brought Silas; and they went their separate ways. When we travel, we use a plane, a fast boat, and a car. During the time of Paul, they walked. They probably rode a boat, but that also took them days. Can you imagine traveling everywhere on foot?

What happened between Paul and Barnabas can happen to anybody. In fact, it happens in churches nowadays. We are always under attack. (Acts 15:19-41) We are under attack consistently. Almost everyday. The enemy does not rest from destroying the church and all the work of God. He continuously puts lies in your head.he can even use the weather to stop you from serving the Lord. When this happens, remember what Paul went through to bring the gospel to the different churches. Our God is an amazing god who has a different way of looking at things. For man, division is not the will of God. But sometimes, division is equal to multiplication.(Acts 15:39-41) It does not look good on the outside but inside, something is happening in the kingdom. But all things work together for good, as mentioned in the book of Romans. When man messes up, God uses the mess for His glory. God’s mathematical equation is different from ours. He can make division means multiplication. So while Barnabas was in Cyprus and Paul was somewhere else, His work was divided but they were able to reach more people than when they were together. It is not God’s fault that people separate and that churches split. It is man’s pride. But God will surely use the division for His own glory. God cannot be divided.(Acts 15:40-41) Just because men go their separate ways, God is not with the other. The Holy Spirit is with everybody who has Jesus in their hearts. Let us not look into religions and judge other believers. Believers can be in other churches too. When Paul traveled and went into the synagogues, it was filled with people with different beliefs. There were even idols there. But God is in the midst of everything and He is with you anywhere you go. A mission is not a vacation. (Acts 16:9-10)The very reason why christians are going to mission trips is because they knew they needed to make disciples for Jesus. Paul was locked up in jail after preaching the gospel. It can be fun because you go to different places. But do not forget its sole purpose which is to make disciples that will make disciples. God is ahead of us. (Acts 17:22-23, 28) Sometimes, when you do something for God, you think you are the only one who is doing it. You feel like God even owes you something because of what you did for Him. But God was there before the creation of the world. He has already prepared and paved the way for you. The reason why you are able to do the things you are doing is because God allowed you to do it. He wants you to be a part of His mission and His ministry. Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 says, “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.Opposition is everywhere. It is inside and outside the church, in your family, and even within yourself. When you want to do something for God, many people try to go against you. But whatever happens, the endgame is victory. (Acts 17:33-34) I do not know what you are so scared of or why you are even scared at all. Why do you need your pastor to pray for somebody when you yourself can do it? God already prepared everything for you. Matthew 7:13-14 says, ““You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Expect that the world will become worse than it is today. Many people will reject you. But do not lose hope. We have already won in Jesus’ name.

Let us stop hurting each other. Not intentionally, at least. Be nice and kind to everyone. You do not know what other people are going through. If you step into somebody else’s shoes, you will know. But  you will also never know if the person you are not nice to is a Christian. So just be nice. Go and start your journey. I do not know where God is calling you to do your mission. But you have to start somewhere. So start now. Leave your comfort zone and go.

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