By His Spirit, God calls and sends people into ministry
Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
…….If we want to obey the Holy Spirit, there must first be a filling. It is much easier to discern his voice when he is close.
Many people have misused, mishandled and neglected his presence and his gifts, hence his power being, not weakened, but withdrawn.
So many wonder why they haven’t received this baptism that is supposed to be for every saved person, and the answer is; maybe the vessel isn’t ready to handle the pressure.
…….The Holy Spirit will never enter into a glory seeking temple…….”Ask yourself, why do I want to be filled?”
…….The Holy Spirit is not a trophy to show off in times of boasting.
The Holy Spirit’s main purpose is to give us power to overcome ourselves, to mold us to be his minister, and to empower and equip us for every fight.
The Holy Ghost was sent to glorify Jesus Christ alone, not itself nor anyone else. If you want the baptism of the Spirit, seek for more relationship with Christ and seek to be more like Christ, and be ready to obey every command.
…….God’s purpose in persecution.
Act 8:1And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
The “Great Commission” is for the entire world to hear the Gospel of Jesus, not just the Jews.
When he wanted them to move, he allowed persecution.
When we become complacent in ministry, God will use various ways to bring us back to his will.
Not all means of persecution are initiated by the enemy.
…….Think about it…….What is God allowing today to try to cause us to be close to him so we can minister for him?
Trials in the family, problems at work, disagreements with your spouse, tension between friends?
Acts 11: 22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
……We need to first notice that the disciples received the name Christian, meaning Christ like (only 3 times mentioned in the NT) by non-believers. They received the name disciples (to learn, a pupil) 261 times quoted in the NT to be exact, by Jesus Christ himself.
While the name Christian can be an outward stereotypical view, the word disciple deeply means that we are ever continuously learning about Christ. We should long to be disciples of Christ.
…….the example of Barnabas and Paul teaching the Gentile converts at Antioch is a reminder to us that, the Great Commission is a mandate from Christ to the Church, to make disciples to Him by teaching believers to do all that Jesus has commanded. Without teaching, believers will not know how they are supposed to live as Christians.
27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus (named a Christian prophet), and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth (famine, scarcity of food) throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
….. Because of the famine the disciples took action by faith in giving all they had, ministering to the Spiritual needs and provisions to minister to the physical needs to help their neighboring Christians. There will be no limitation of provisions to help a brother or sister in need. When the Spirit compelled, we must act.
Skip over to Acts 13:
1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
…….The Church at Antioch was blessed with many spiritual gifted leaders. These prophets and teachers or from various National, cultural, and religious backgrounds, but all had become Believers in Jesus as the Messiah, and were Holy Spirit empowered preachers and teachers.
Barnabas, a levite, was from the Priestly tribe of Israel, a privileged and influential group within Judaism. Simeon was an African and a black man, as indicated by his African name Niger, pronounced Ni-jer, as in the African name Nigeria, a nation in Africa. Lucius was also an African, from Cyrene, in Northern Africa. Manaen was a member of the Roman nobility, having been brought up in the herodian family of Edomite rulers of the Jews as the Foster brother of Herod Antipas. Finally, there was Saul (the Apostle Paul), who before his conversion to Faith In Jesus as the Messiah, was a Jew, a Pharisee, and a highly educated Rabbi, with a rich Heritage in both Jewish and Greek culture. The church at Antioch was truly an International Church, held together as every church should be, by their shared faith in Jesus Christ.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
…….Look at the importance of verse 2, “As they ministered to the Lord”. How do we minister to the Lord?
That’s exactly what we must be doing if we desire to be apart of his work. As we fulfill our first calling, worshipping Christ, other callings to serve in various ways come from the Holy Spirit.
Many people think that Paul just skipped right through the ranks of the Church because he was summoned by Christ in such an extreme manner. But Paul was doing exactly what we all must do before his work began, serving and worshipping in his home Church.
4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:
7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus (thought to be a relative of Paul), a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
…….Just as soon as they began ministering, opposition came. Any time you begin ministry, always be ready to fight the enemy, and expect the Spirit to empower you to overcome every obstacle.
Look at the next verse…..
9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
……. the Apostle Paul never hesitated to rebuke the enemy.
In seeking to make the gospel known to the unsaved, we should expect to face opposition from spiritual forces of evil. However, if we persevere our effort to bring the unsafe to Christ, God will provide the help we need to overcome evil.
12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.