Thursday, April 21, 2016
This past Sunday, I preached about the account of the sharp disagreement between Paul And Barnabas in the 15th chapter of Acts over John Mark joining them on a follow-up missionary campaign. Barnabas wanted to take him along with them but Paul didn’t because Mark had deserted them on a previous mission. This resulted with Barnabas and Mark journeying in one direction and Paul and Silas going in another. I cited these points in the story: (1) Disagreements can and will occur in the best of relationships. It happens at home, at work, even in church, and (2) sometimes we give up on people too quickly.
I personally think that if there were never any disagreements in a marriage, family, or in church, life would be very boring and uneventful. On the other hand, disagreements can go past the danger point and can destroy forever even the closest knit relationship. At work, people don’t always agree with the boss or supervisor. At home, family members don’t always agree with the head of the household, and at church, members don’t always agree with the pastor. That’s just the way it is. It is at such times when people need a generous dose of grace and patience because folks who don’t acquire these qualities will be the first to bail out. We must remember that we live among imperfect people in an imperfect world, and that includes us. I once spoke to a lady who said her church was perfect. Of course, she meant a long time ago because that church closed down about twenty years ago.
After the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas, Mark redeemed himself and became a faithful servant of God. In fact, this is part of Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy: “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.” (2 Tim. 4:11) It also seems that after the disagreement with Barnabas, Paul also learned that true love is what helps us not to give up on others too quickly, for he wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:5 that love “keeps no record of wrongs.” If he had known this before, he would have not kept record of Mark’s past failure. And it is that same love that keeps us together even though we are in disagreement from time to time. That is why Peter gave us this valuable advice: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) Lets ask God to give us this type of love so that we won’t give up on others so easily and also pray that others don’t give up on us.
Memory verse for the week: (Proverbs 17:27 KJV) “He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.”