COULD THEY BOTH BE RIGHT? Read Acts 15: 36-41 Again!

Could they both be right?  Paul and Barnabas have a huge argument over whether to take John Mark on their second missionary journey for the Lord, since this young man has deserted them on the first journey.  Left them high and dry running back home to Jerusalem. Take him with us again?   Paul says in effect ‘no way, he better grow up first.  This is for the Lord, and we need no more distractions from the likes of John Mark.  Maybe some day…’  But Barnabas, the Son of Encouragement and John Mark’s cousin (Col.4:10), wants to give him another try, a second chance. Who’s right after all?   Well, as we know, the result is TWO power-packed missionary journeys spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ farther and faster  than even they imagined.  I still wonder though: could Paul and Barnabas both be right?  Stepping away from the actual situation, let me be personal here.  Sometimes in my life, the doors have been slammed closed right in my face.  Get moving, buddy.  Not here…not in our backyard.  And the job of pastor comes crashing down.  It hurt, to put it mildly…it was devastating and I can still feel the anxiety of the unknown future, what lay ahead.  Not just for me but for family and others as well.  I think the Apostle Paul would have advised me to take time off, to grow closer to the Lord and not that denomination any longer, stop trying to climb ladders professionally, talk more about Jesus than your plans for bigger and better churches just around the bend. But for now, no new missions for you. Grow…before you go.Get closer when the doors close.   And Paul would have been right.  God led me through times of growing and allowing times of failure and getting closer to Him before I would take a side-step here and there…getting close and then pulling back.  Do you hear what I’m saying?  Am I the only one with these experiences?  But then again Barnabas was right also.  I thank God for the people who gave me second and third chances…to minister.  A Roman Catholic priest who was a local hospital chaplain faced real criticism by having me, a Protestant, preach at the Catholic service at that hospital chapel two weeks after leaving my church …he didn’t care what people thought, he was Barnabas to me.  He said, ‘Get right back on that horse’!  He gave me a second chance when I didn’t even ask for it… and I am forever grateful.  And for a TV station that allowed me to do ‘Person-to-Person’ for 5 years witnessing in word and song to Jesus Christ– not just behind the walls of one church building  but throughout 2 whole counties.  And the church I just retired from, 14 years of preaching,teaching,  evangelism, mission projects, Bible studies, prayers groups…all from the Lord because I was given a second chance…all in the same town!  Have I seen what the Lord can do with my life?  And not just mine!  I think Paul and Barnabas were both right.  How about you?  Need to grow before you go?  Don’t rush it…spend lots of time with Him in the Bible and prayer with God’s people. Growing and growing in Him alone.   Need a second chance?  Pray for it…God will open doors and windows just for you… for others… for Him!  And maybe, just maybe, you need to give someone else a second chance. Think so?

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