“So being sent out by the Holy spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.”
So this begins the first missionary journey, Saul and Barnabas leaving Antioch to proclaim the gospel and plant the church where the gospel had not been proclaimed and churches and not been planted. They leave Antioch for this purpose. This is a picture of a missionary, a missionary journey. And this is where I want to encourage us to think about our churches and ask the question, how active are we in our churches in sending out missionaries? People filled with the Holy spirit of God, set apart by the Holy spirit of God to proclaim the gospel and plant the church where it is not yet gone.
God, give us faith to pray honestly for You to call out multitudes of missionaries for the sake of Christ being praised among all nations.
Notice not everybody from Antioch left to do this work. So God does not call every single follower of Jesus to leave where the gospel has gone and go to where it hasn’t gone, at least not in the same way, but he does call us to work together.
The whole picture here is the church at Antioch sending out missionaries to get the gospel, supporting those missionaries as they take the gospel where it has not yet gone. And if there’s two billion people in the world who have little to no knowledge of the gospel, then surely in every church God is calling out some missionaries to go out from that church and get the gospel where it’s not yet gone. And so in our churches, we need to be doing exactly what we see here in Acts 13, worshiping, fasting, praying and asking God, who are you setting apart to go? Who are you calling out from among us? And we’re all laying down our lives and saying, God, are you calling me to go? And if he calls us to go, we go, sent out from the church. If he doesn’t call us to go, then we make sacrifices. We sacrifice a chunk of our salaries to send people to where the gospel has not yet gone. Every church does this. If your church is not sending out missionaries from your midst, then you least need to ask the question, are you following the Holy Spirit? And are you obeying the great commission to make disciples of all the nations, not just to make disciples but make disciples of all the people groups? There is over 7,000 people groups where there is little to no proclamation of the gospel or churches planted.
So God, we pray that in every one of our churches you would send out missionaries. And as we pray that, we lay our lives down before you, you our Lord of our lives, and we ask, are you calling us to do that? God, give us all faith to honestly pray that before you. And Jesus, we pray that you would call out multitudes of missionaries from our churches. I pray for multitudes of missionaries from the church I pastor. McLean Bible Church, please send out multitudes of missionaries to the nations from McLean Bible Church. I pray this for every church that’s represented. And people who are listening right now, I pray that you would send out multitudes of missionaries from these churches. Please. Oh God, please, please, please cause the gospel to be proclaimed and churches to be planted where it’s not been heard, where churches have not been planted. And cause our churches, every single one of us to be engaged in this task. Send out men and women, singles and families from our churches, by your Holy spirit to do this work until the work is done, until the gospel has been proclaimed and the church has been planted in every people group in every part of the world. God, please may it be so. We pray. Do this. Do Acts 13 in every one of our churches. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
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