Spend time in prayer and silence with God, asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.
Some time later, Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the Word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
– Acts 15:36-41
Here we see some very strong leaders in the early church disagreeing on how to proceed in doing the work of ministry. John Mark had bailed on Paul and Barnabas during the first missionary journey. As they were getting ready to head out on the second missionary journey, Barnabas tells Paul that he wants to bring John Mark back for a second chance. Paul disagrees, and the two would part company. Here we see that even strong, mature believers may not agree on everything. God would use this disagreement to propel the Gospel into the entire world. Barnabas would head east into uncharted territory while Paul would continue taking the Gospel west until he ended up in Rome. Later in his ministry, Paul would send for John Mark to assist him in his ministry.
The Big Question
Have you ever had a disagreement with another believer? How did it turn out? What stands out to you in this account? How do we continue to model God’s grace through disagreeable times?
Conclude your time in prayer and silence, reflecting on what God revealed to you today.