Thank you worship team, for leading us a quality singing/praising to the Lord! Boys and girls, still remember the story that Paul and Barnabas went on their mission trip spreading the gospel of Jesus to the gentiles and the Jewish? Many gentiles believed in Jesus and this made the Jewish very jealous, so they stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out from their city.
Paul and Barnabas then went to another city called Iconium, and again they entered into the Jewish synagogue and spread boldly the gospel of Jesus, as usual, many people received Jesus, but some rejected and persecuted Paul and Barnabas again! The whole city divided into two parts, one party trusted in Paul and Barnabas, and the other party hated them, they even mistreated them stoned them. But God protected them and they escaped from their attack. Guess, were they scared and stopped spreading gospel? No, Paul and Barnabas were even more courageous but they were smart. They went to another cities called Lystra and Derbe and continued to preach the gospel.
Now Pastor would like to ask Jed to read Acts 14:8-13, let’s listen carefully:
“ 8 In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and, began to walk. 11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them. “
So, now People wanted to treat Paul and Barnabas as gods. This happened in a city called Lystra, a man was lame from birth. He could never walk since he was born. One day he was listening Paul’s preaching, he was fully attracted to Paul’s talking about Jesus. Paul then said to him loudly, “Stand up on your feet!” Waah, the miracle happened! The man jumped up and walked! His crippled feet were completely healed in a moment. Everyone was amazed, and thought that Paul and Barnabas were their gods coming down in human form. People wanted to worship them, and even killed bulls as sacrifices offered to them. They had to escape from this scenario, as well. However, just after a few moment, some Jews came up from the neighboring cities to be against Paul, again they stoned him and dragged him out of the city, thinking Paul was dead. However, Paul and Barnabas never lost heart, they still kept preaching the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples and built many churches there. Finally they sailed back to their mother church Antioch in Syria. Their mission for Jesus completed. Jed, could you read v.26 to v.28 for us? Let’s listen carefully:
“26 From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. 27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.”
How courageous and perseverant Paul and Barnabas were throughout their mission journey preaching the gospel of Jesus. Thank God for that Paul and Barnabas though faced many difficulties and experienced tortures and persecutions, they were able to come back their home church Antioch in Syria safely. The church brothers and sisters were so happy to see them back and excitingly listened to their sharing God’s amazing work they have experienced, though a lot of danger and persecution came to them, but they knew they were fighting for Jesus, they must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God! Now boys and girls, what can we learn from today’s story? Pastor would like you to remember 4 points as follows:
- Perseverance is tough and painful, which needs a lot of courage. But when we achieve it, we will be rejoicing and enjoy the success from the perseverance. Watch this video to see how perseverance brings joy.
- We have learned the perseverance: whenever, we are doing something good, do it with all our strength and never give up! There may be difficulties, resistance, just ask God to give us sufficient perseverance to overcome them! We may not go on mission trip like Apostle Paul did, but if we like to share gospel to someone locally, we also need courage and perseverance. Never be afraid of failure or being rejected, just keep talking about Jesus.
- We share Jesus to others not by our own intelligence and abilities. A person’s willing to accept Jesus is all by the power of the Holy Spirit! God gave us this privilege to share the gospel for Him, we just trust in the Holy Spirit’s guidance to get the job done.
- The missionaries like Paul and Barnabas are always facing many dangers and challenges, they did need brothers and sisters in the home church to pray for them and also support their need. Don’t forget we need to pray for the missionaries our church supports. Some of them now are in middle east, in Myanmar and in China.
They need our prayer they need our support! So boys and girls, we need to pray for the missionaries earnestly and support their need generously. Pastor gave you these 4 points today, remember them in your heart.
Let’s bow our head and pray: “Oh, our heavenly father, thank you for the stories of Apostle Paul and Barnabas’ mission trip. We can see how dangerous and difficult throughout their journey was! Paul and Barnabas showed the perseverance and courage to overcome all the challenges. Help us be willing to support the missionaries you sent out watching over their need and faithfully praying for them. We believe even there were persecution, We know you are still in control and You listened to the our prayers and watch over your servants around the world.
Oh Lord Jesus, help all our children and teachers fully trust in you build up our perseverance that we can fight for the Lord without a fear of failure and we need to pray for the missionaries around the world knowing they are facing many difficulties and they need your protection and cover up from Satan’s attack. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!