August 8th 2009

Finishing The Assignment

9 of 12 studies taken from Acts 7 to Acts 14

“Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.”
Acts 11:26, 29-30; 12:25 (NIV UK)

Are you someone who gets the job done? I know sometimes I am. At other times I am not. Occasionally, when I am asked to do something and I accept, I am diligent, but sometimes I am lackadaisical about it and end up not finishing it or leaving it all to the last moment.

In the story above Barnabas and Saul are entrusted with a very specific task. During the time of the Emperor Claudius historians recorded a number of famines, and one of them was affecting the believers in Jerusalem. Here was a time to show support and gratitude to the HQ church. So the Christians in Antioch sent gifts to help. Perhaps the gifts were a mixture of money and goods. They had to be delivered by hand because there was no reliable banking or postal system in those days.

This account reminds me of something that we in the Worldwide Church of God in the UK and Ireland did a few years ago. There was a food shortage in Malawi and funds were collected from our churches in order to help out. My wife and I were due to go to Malawi on a pastoral visit and we took the funds with us in cash and, with the help of our ministry there, we bought provisions for those in need. It is wonderful to see the care in action that our churches can have for one another.

Barnabas and Paul finished their mission and then went back for the next assignment. We all have jobs to do within the body of Christ. An important point is that we finish them well. What about you? Do you finish what you begin? I know it’s something I have to work on.

Father, thank you that you understand my faults and weaknesses. Help me to be diligent in finishing the tasks that I take on. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

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