Friday, July 17
This weekend at CTK we continue our sermon series based on the Acts of the Apostles, noticing how God’s unchanging mission continues in changing circumstances through the faithfulness of Christ’s followers. There is more to the message for this weekend than the reading which follows, but this little bit has a lesson or two:
Acts 16:6-10: Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
The lesson here is about the importance of team. Paul had built a team, starting with Silas (after parting ways with Barnabas) and then adding Timothy. In this very passage, when the perspective of the narrator changes from 3
person (they & them) to the first person (we & us), we understand that Luke had joined the team as well. But who knows? It would not have been out of character for Paul’s “companions” to include more than these whom we know about.
Teamwork, partnership, and collaboration was intrinsic to Paul’s disciple-making philosophy and missionary method. He always had someone alongside—an apprentice--whom he was mentoring into service and leadership under the Lord Jesus. “Imitate me as I imitate Christ,” he would say. Paul’s kind of discipleship didn’t just happen in Bible class and church meetings; it happened in day to day living, in the practical concerns as well as the intentional missional activities.
In the same way discipleship can happen today in homes, working in the kitchen, or in automobile conversations or shopping trips, if we can integrate our lifestyle with Jesus’ way of life.
So, whose mission team are you on?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the examples you gave us in Luke, Timothy, Silas, and other companions of Paul; as well as the faithful members of the churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea which these fellows planted together. Thank you for my own church, and for the partnership we share in your mission. Thank you for my family and friends. Help me find partners, or become partnered with others, to pray for and support your work in these relationship networks. May your Word be powerful among us to save and to guide us, and to conform our lives to your Son’s way of life. Amen.