Monday, July 11, 2011

Missteps, Mistakes, and other kinds of Perfection

Scripture--Acts 13-Acts 15

Observation—As I was reading, I was struck by the seemed missteps by the disciples.  I was struck that not every church “plant” was successful.  That Paul and Barnbabus fought over taking John Mark, and parted ways.  That the people in Lystra saw the healing and immediately thought the disciples were gods and wanted to worship them.  It seemed in this chapter that they disciples “failed” more than they “succeeded”.

Application—I’ve felt that way, have you?  When I’ve looked at how things ended up, sometimes I see more failures, more missteps, more wrong turns than right ones.  Sometimes I’ve looked back at a situation and wondered how we got so far afield.  I take comfort in the fact that even Paul didn’t always get it “right”.  I take comfort in the fact that God can take what I see as mistakes and missteps and make good out of them. I take comfort in the idea that trying my best counts for something.  That as Paul says, (13:38-39) "Through Jesus we proclaim forgives of sins to you.  From all those sins which you couldn’t be put in right relationship with God through Moses’  Law through Jesus everyone who believes is put in right relationship with God”! 

Prayer—Savior, forgive me when I put what I do before your will.  Forgive me when I’m more worried about being perfect that about loving you, taking risks, and loving those around me.  Forgive me when I make it about what I can do instead of what you will do through me.  Let me never forget that you can make good of it all!  Amen

Pastor Emily 


Lynne Watts said...

As I read this section, I am struck by the many highs and lows of Paul's life. One minute he is being worshiped as a god and the next he is being stoned and all by the same crowd. He doesn't get along with everyone either. He has sharp differences with Barnabas and is unwilling to travel with John Mark. Yet by the end of his life, both these men are mentioned in a positive light in his letters and visit him in prison. Paul is so human. His life is is a series of ups and downs yet he remains steadfast to his commitment to preach the gospel throughout it all. Here is someone who has his priorities in order.

Mary said...

I think Paul was tuned in closely to the Holy Spirit. He had a strong personality, so he didn't always get along with everyone. But when he let the Spirit lead him, he could escape those who tried to harm him or put him in prison, he could speak/preach so many became Christians and he could be filled with joy no matter what. I need to follow the Spirit more closely, to put my agenda behind the will of God.

Carol Flores said...

I was amazed at Paul and Barnabas' resolve. To experience rejection, and in Paul's case, STONING (!) and still go forward preaching the gospel wherever the Holy Spirit called them to go. 13:51 was for me a great example of something to reach for -- When we experience rejection, can we shake the dust off our feet and move on? Are we filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit when we are experiencing persecution? This sounds like a great way to be. So focused on your message and purpose that rejection and downfalls seem unimportant.