Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 13, 2019

“the grace of God” “strengthening the churches”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 15:36-41.

“After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.”  Barnabas wanted to take John, called Mark, along with them also.  But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.  And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.  But Paul chose Silas and left, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord.  And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.”  Acts 15:36-41.

—————–

Other doctrine focuses on man’s actions.

But, Reformed Doctrine focuses on God’s sovereign actions.

In today’s Scripture, we read:  “Barnabas wanted to take John, called Mark, along with them also.  But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.  And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another …”  Verses 37-39.

Other doctrine wants to focus on whether Barnabas was right or whether Paul was right and the consequences of sharp disagreements between men, and other doctrine immediately leaves today’s Scripture to search through other Scripture to see what happened to Mark.

But, Reformed Doctrine stays with today’s Scripture and meditates on God’s sovereign action of “the grace of God” “strengthening the churches”.  Verses 40-41.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called;  and these whom He called, He also justified;  and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who is against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”  Romans 8:28-31.


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