Summary: verse by verse through Acts

[Newlyweds vs. couple married for 40 years view of marriage.]

Now let’s translate that thought into our relationship with God; Our faith; etc.

[New vs. old Christian’s view of the church.]

Today we need to make sure that we haven’t lost our first love. You see, [2] when it’s all about Jesus, we can live like we’re supposed to live; Then we can have a vibrant faith that makes a difference; Then we can truly be the church in this world instead of just go to church like everyone else. When it’s all about Jesus.

The early church in the book of Acts had this. They had this amazing focus on Jesus Christ that energized their lives. And this morning were going to see how the very first missionaries ever sent out by the church made sure their efforts were all about Jesus. As we look at their hearts for the Lord, may we look at our hearts and make sure that we haven’t forgotten our first love. Turn with me to Acts chapter thirteen where we see the church in Antioch praying about how to get the gospel of Jesus out to the rest of the world.

Here we’re going to see that [3] it’s all about Jesus in the calling.

[Read Acts 13:1-5.]

The church there in Antioch had these five guys leading the ministry. These guys were praying and fasting when the Spirit spoke to them calling Paul and Barnabas to do missionary work. I think they all knew someone had to travel with the gospel, but didn’t know who it should be. So they prayed and fasted and fasted and prayed to get some direction from the Lord on this. You see, to them it wasn’t their decision – it was God’s decision. They wanted to do exactly what He wanted them to do so they prayed until they got an answer. And of course the Lord gave them a very specific answer and off Paul and Barnabas went.

And this is how the Lord works in all of us. Jesus has equipped us all to be able to be a part of what He’s doing in this world. All of us can be used of God in some way to help others become mature followers of Jesus Christ.

[Read Ephesians 4:11-13.]

All of us can be used of God in this world. Maybe it’s in leadership or maybe it’s in a supportive role. Maybe the things you do get noticed by others – maybe the things you do are behind the scenes. But the fact remains that it’s all important, we all have a part to play, and that part should be determined by Jesus.

Now maybe you don’t know exactly what your part is. Well, these five church leaders didn’t know which one of them should be the missionaries of the group. So they went to prayer and fasting to find out, from God, what they were supposed to do.

Maybe you aren’t sure about what your calling is. Or maybe you’re involved in something at church that doesn’t really fit. To find God’s perfect fit in His plan it’s time to fast and pray. That’s right; I said it; it’s time to fast!

Listen, fasting is a great way to focus all your mental energy on Jesus Christ. Fasting is simply when you give up something to be able to completely focus on the Lord for a season. Maybe you fast on your lunch hour and go pray until you get an answer. Maybe you fast from tv for a few days until you get an answer from God. If you focus completely on Him, He will give you peace and guidance to where you’re supposed to serve.

Not only will He show you what He wants you to do, but He will also give you the ability to fulfill His calling. [4] It’s all about Jesus in the power!

So Paul and Barnabas head of to several different areas to do ministry amongst the people. Sometimes they were accepted by the folks and sometimes they were opposed. But God gave them the power to handle any opposition that came their way.

[Read Acts 13:6-8.]

While on the island of Paphos, word got around about Paul and Barnabas. A member of the ruling class wanted to hear about this Jesus so he sent for Paul and Barnabas so he could hear God’s Word. What a great opportunity!

But there was a problem. Barjesus the magician, who was also connected with the proconsul, didn’t want any of the ruling class influenced by this new Christianity. Now why would Barjesus not want anyone else to come to faith?

Barjesus: a Jewish false prophet

name meant “son of Jesus”

magician, sorcery, occult

This was an evil man who was using his influence to keep others from the Truth. But remember, Paul and Barnabas’ ministry didn’t depend on the politics of the day. Their ministry was fueled by the power of God!

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