“Well Sent”

[Week 2]

Acts 12:25-13:3

Verse of the Week

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hand son them and sent them off.”

[‭‭Acts 13:2-3 NIV‬‬]

 

Acts 12:25-13:3 record the beginning of the incredible ministry of Paul (at this point, still being called Saul). It is easy to look at someone as dynamic as Paul and assume that he is special or somehow super-human. But as we will see today, the dynamic ministry of Paul was birthed in the faithfulness of God, the faithfulness of the church, and Pauls own faithfulness to the mission.

A Faithful God

In this passage, one of the first things we can see is the faithfulness of God. When God says “… for the work to which I have called them,” He is indicating that this plan is already set. God intends to use these men to spread the gospel across the Roman Empire, fulfilling one of his very first promises to Abraham (Gen. 12:3 “… and all peoples on earth will be bless through you.”). 

 

God knew ahead of time what he wanted Saul (Paul) and Barnabas to do (Acts 9:15-16). And God has a plan for us as well. Read and discuss the following Verses:

 

  • Ephesians  2:10

  • Psalm 139:16

  • Jeremiah 29:11

 

A Faithful Church

The church in Antioch demonstrates what it looks like for a church to seek after, listen to, and obey the Holy Spirit. Note in Vs. 2 where it says: “…While they were worshiping the Lord and FASTING…” This indicates that they had dedicated a period of time to seek after the lord that was longer than the 1 1/2 hours a contemporary American church services would be. We are not sure for how long, but it is reasonable to assume that this period of time was multiple days.

 

Listening to and relying on the direction of the Holy Spirit was their lifestyle, not their emergency plan. Because they lived in this posture, they were able to act upon what God wanted them to do when he spoke to them.

 

Trying to live an on-mission Christian life is an impossible task, and the posture of continual failure can be completely disheartening. Ponder and discuss this and the following verses:

 

  • John 14:26

  • Rom 8:11-14 / 5-6

  • Zechariah 4:6

A Faithful Servant

Barnabas and Saul were not called into intense full-time mission work straight from the bench, they were already in the game. Immediately after Saul’s conversion, we see Paul begin preaching and sharing his testimony (Acts 9:19-30). And when Barnabas was sent to Antioch to assist them in preaching to the gentiles, he grabbed Saul to come along side him (Acts 11:19-30).

 

This call by the Holy Spirit was not calling them into something foreign, but into a deeper more focused expression of what they were already doing.

 

God has called us to be faithful, not famous. If we want to be used by God to do great things (or even the RIGHT things), He will often guide us into places to serve and obey small. Consider and discuss the parable Jesus taught about this principle in Matthew 25:14-30.

 

Additionally, Paul and Barnabas never sought to create a name for themselves in their work. Often times Paul refers to himself and his fellow workers in ministry as Servants. In our efforts to be more like Jesus, it is vitally important to remember that Jesus came as a servant to us. Read and discuss the following verses about servanthood:

 

  • Romans 1:1

  • Galatians 1:10

  • Colossians 1:7

  • II Timothy 2:24

  • Philippians 2:6-8

  • Matthew 20:28

  • John 13:3-5 

Question Bank
 

  1. How has your week been spiritually?
     

  2. How have you seen the Lord’s faithfulness in your life?
     

  3. How can we as a Connect Group live like a faithful church? How about in our a Families?
     

  4. Does the idea of being a servant make you feel uncomfortable? Why or Why not?
     

  5. What’s your next step in your relationship with God?

Call to Action

  • Take Time this week to dedicate to listening to God and report back what you heard next week!

  • Talk about Group with at least 1 person. Invite them if the conversation goes that way!