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Acts 13:1-12 (ESV)
Barnabas and Saul Sent Off
13 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 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.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
Since Gentiles were already welcome in the church, why did Saul and Barnabus go to the synagogue?
Barnabas and Saul were called by the Holy Spirit and were sent out by the church In Antioch. Both the men and the congregation realized that sending them out meant change and separation. Saying Yes to Your call requires saying no to other things. They had it on their hearts to pray. They were open to listening to Your Spirit. Those who do not listen will not hear Your call. Barnabas and Saul had opportunities to preach in the custom of the “open synagogue” where any learned man was invited to speak to the congregation on the Sabbath. There were many people there which gave them a forum to speak and get Your message to many people at a time. Thank You for those who hear Your call on their hearts and respond. Thank You that Your Spirit still calls people to share Your Gospel. Give me the heart for prayer so that I can hear and respond to Your Call on my life. Help our congregation be diligent in prayer and worship so that Your Spirit moves in the church so the church will be in unity to do the work of Your calling. Let us seek out opportunities to share Your love and Your Word with others. There are many people who need to hear Your message of forgiveness and hope right now. Let us look for opportunities to share Your message. Show us what we need to say no to in order to say yes to Your call. Use our congregation to support Your ministry in our own congregation, in our local community, in our hurting country, and throughout the world. Speak Lord, Your servants are listening. Amen