Acts 15:36-41 and 2 Timothy 4:11 (click to view Scripture below)
Our reading today describes the painful argument that Paul and Barnabas have. This should have been a joyous time because the decision of the leadership in Jerusalem has just settled a huge controversy and released Paul and Barnabas to greatly expand their ministry. But Paul and Baranbas disagree on who should be a part of their team. The person in question is John Mark who has deserted them on their first journey. Paul felt John Mark was a loser and Barnabas disagreed.
Barnabas took a chance and mentored John Mark. We don’t read what Barnabas did, but we do know the result. If you read the passage in 2 Timothy, you will see that Paul obviously has had a change of mind about John Mark. While Paul is under house arrest and very alone in Rome, he says that he would like John Mark to visit, because this young man had become “useful to me and my ministry.”
ChildHope president Mary Mahon tells the story of a young boy who attended the school she founded near Caracas, Venezuela. He came from a very poor family and his father was severely challenged physically. This young student grew up seeing his father struggle with this disability. The student declared that he would become a medical doctor one day so that he could help people like his father. Today that young boy is in medical school. The Lord is preparing him to serve his country. And his skills as a doctor will be needed more than ever in serving the medical challenges present in a nation with massive civil strife.
It can be hard for us to see the potential in kids who come from tough circumstances — whose lives begin with a huge deficit. We tend to see disaster, not success, in their futures. Nevertheless, God uses people and situations, like ChildHope, to transform these kids into useful vessels for Christ’s ministry and service in His Name.
Vice President, ChildHope
Prayer: Lord, bring someone into my life who I may speak encouragement to. Let their lives turn from hopelessness to usefulness.
36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.”37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
2 Timothy 4:11 (ESV)
11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.