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In HIS Presence


Acts 15:36-41


Meditation verse:

““And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).


As humans, it is impossible for our relationships to be devoid of offences. The Bible acknowledges this fact. Paul and Barnabas disagreed to the point of going their separate ways. When they were about to depart for their second missionary journey, they disagreed sharply over Mark, a young man who had abandoned them during the first journey. Barnabas wanted Mark to come along, but Paul insisted that they had no business taking someone who had deserted them on the job. But Barnabas refused to give up on him.


Barnabas was gifted at recognizing the potential in others. A respected leader of the early church, he was originally called Joseph, which translates to ‘son of encouragement’ (Acts 4:36). When Paul arrived in Jerusalem following his conversion, he tried to join the disciples, but they were reluctant to take him in.  Barnabas took Paul to the disciples, convincing them that he was now a genuine believer in Christ. It is interesting to note that Paul, who was given a second chance, refused to extend the same hand of fellowship to Mark.


What relationship have you given up on due to an offence? Barnabas’ kindred spirit is worth emulating. God will never give up on you. You should therefore be willing to give others a second chance. We can only wonder what would have become of Paul’s ministry if Barnabas had not intervened or if the Apostles had remained adamant. Do you sense God asking you to restore any relationship? You never know how useful that person will become in your life. Mark later reunited with Paul and became very useful in his ministry (2 Tim 4:11).


God works through conflicts and disagreements to fulfil His purposes. The disagreement between Paul and Barnabas resulted in the doubling of the missionary efforts. No one understands the workings of God who makes all things. So, which broken relationship(s) do you need to fix today?


IN HIS PRESENCE is written by Oke Chinye.
Have you asked Jesus Christ to come into your heart?

He says in Mathew 11:28, “come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He longs to give you rest."

Would you like to do so now? Here’s a prayer you can say:
Dear Jesus, I believe that You died to save me from all my sins. Today, I invite you into my heart and I accept you as my Lord and Saviour. Please forgive all my sins and help me to live my life for You.

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