Summary: GOd used Paul and Barnabas’ disagreement over John Mark to expand the work of the gospel. In his sovereignty he can even use our weaknesses to further his ends.

By Camille Lang

Have you noticed the world and people in it are just … well, out of control?

A life lived seems messy … even off the rails at times….

However it seems to me that today people seem to be showing even less tolerance … more impatience and more anger and I seem to be coming across more and more situations which are just really out of control.

Don’t believe me … Let me give you a few examples …

You may have noticed in your travels the increasing incidents of road rage…

In fact someone was just telling me that in the insurance policy fine print, that after an accident, you can’t get out and apologise … even if it’s your fault …you can’t actually get out and say sorry mate my fault. If you do then you are obviously admitting fault and your insurance won’t pay. Instead you’ll pay out of your own pocket … (and here I was, thinking that that was the point of having insurance!!!) But it’s like people are given a licence to actually start yelling abuse at someone.

"Oh you idiot … how dare you stop and wait for me to drive past … I know I ran into you but how dare you! I can’t believe you … you’re such an idiot!"

It’s laughable I think….. It’s just upside down …..

What about the materialism, that goes on here in Australia?

I had a look at some stats about credit card debt put out by the Reserve Bank at the end of 2004…As of December last year

Credit and charge card debt reached a record high of 28.2 billion…..28.2 billion

Now 68% of Australians are rolling over their monthly credit card debt and paying only the minimum payment – being charged interest from 15 to 20%

and lastly the average debt among 70% of households with a credit card reached $5162 in 2004 compared to $1601 in 1996

Spending that’s just out of control

Still don’t believe me … just read the daily newspaper for more examples … crime rates that are spinning out of control … murder, rape, teenager pregnancy, STD’s they’re all on the increase…..

The world and people in it are just totally out of control.

Now as I reflected on the many out-of-control situations I’ve been involved in … most of them not involving the youth … parents will be glad to hear …my mind automatically jumps to all the good things that have resulted from these crazy, messy situations … now it’s not necessarily the good I would have chosen but nevertheless … something good has come out of them. Let me give you an example.

Rob & I had a massive fight … massive … it was over the phone. I was walking around in the city about 5ish, 5pm that is, during the week, so there was a reasonable amount of people around and I remember just yelling at him or yelling into my mobile. In the end I think I hung up on him.

No, I definitely hung up on him … yet that night after a lot of prayer & journaling …well we had an awesome conversation … a conversation where we were able to think really constructively about how we dealt with conflict as a couple (which clearly wasn’t that well!!) … but that conversation is one that has really grown us as a couple … a good result that came out of a bad situation … And I could give you numerous examples of this…

And this is what I want us to think about today … the good that comes out of the bad … the good that comes out of a crazy and out-of-control situation. I also want us to think about how that happens. See in the situations I’ve just mentioned it’s been about humans who drive too fast or are too impatient or are driven by materialism or they act out in anger. But what would happen if these humans acted responsibly and wisely? People would learn from being in debt and consequently not spend outside their means. Or like Rob & me people would talk civilly and respectfully after an accident. Isn’t that how good comes out of bad??

In our passage read out today we see good that comes out of bad. We see good things resulting from an argument ... a real barney between 2 head honchos in the Christian church of that time … 2 godly leaders in the church. Just what were those good things were and how did they come about

For those who are visiting today let me update you from where we have come. During the last couple of months St Theo’s has been preaching through the book of Acts. Acts begins after Jesus has been taken back into heaven. His time on earth has finished and he commissions his disciples to keep spreading the message and we see just that. The word is spreading and many people become Christians and many churches are also established.

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