Readings

  • Acts 13
  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • Acts 1:8

Prayer

Pray… that you will let God use you to share His message.

Day 334 – Paul – Journey #1 (Cyprus, Pisidian Antioch)

The church at Antioch sends missionaries

 

  • Today we read about the beginning of Paul’s first of his four missionary journeys. It might help to get some context to the dates. Assuming Jesus’ resurrection was in 32 AD, Paul’s conversion would likely have been anywhere between 33 to 37 AD, and this first missionary journey probably started around 46 AD and ended in 48 AD. Therefore, roughly 14 years has now passed since Jesus returned to heaven.
  • Find a map of this first journey, either in your bible or on Google. Track the path they took, both on the map and in your text. Remember, Paul didn’t have a car! This first journey was short compared to his others, but look how far he went! How do you think he kept up his spirits and health when travelling so far?
  • How did the church of Antioch decide that Paul and Barnabas needed to do this trip?
  • Do you pray before making big decisions? If not, why? Is this something you can be more intentional about in the future?
  • Paul and Barnabas sailed first to Cyprus. Describe Paul’s meeting and conversation with the sorcerer in the town of Paphos. What happened?
  • After another boat journey (and a long walk), Paul arrived in Psidian Antioch in Acts 13:14. This is a different place to Antioch, where they started their journey. Who did Paul and Barnabas go to speak with first when they arrived there? What good reasons do you think Paul had for preaching and teaching to Jews in the temple initially? Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel was “first for the Jew, and then for the gentile”.
  • Who did Paul speak to after giving his message in the temple?
  • What were the different reactions to his message, especially in Acts 13:44-48, as Paul spoke to the large crowd?
  • Verse 48 reminds us that whatever we do, it’s God’s grace that causes people to believe. How do you think that might have comforted Paul and Barnabas? What did Paul and Barnabas do when persecution came?
  • How was Paul living out the command in Matthew 28:18-20? You’re not Paul, of course, but how are you doing at living out this command? Where is your metaphorical “Jerusalem” or “Samaria”, do you think?
  • What does Acts 1:8 – a great summary of the book of Acts – tell us about where our power to share the Good News comes from?

 

As we read about the astonishing efforts of Paul and Barnabas to share the gospel far and wide – and we’ll see plenty of this over the next week or so – I hope you’ll be repeatedly challenged by what you are doing to share the gospel too. None of us are Paul (God really used him in a very special way), but we are all disciples of Jesus, so the words of the Great Commission in Matthew 29:18-20 are just as relevant for us as they were for him. Some of us will be called into active ministry around the world, but most of us won’t. We’ll be at school, or at an office desk, or on a builder’s yard, or in a university.

 

Whatever your “front line” is, wherever you meet people on a day-to-day basis… what are you doing to be fruitful for Jesus?

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