Listening for My Call

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Disciple,

To truly worship Me as Lord you must offer yourself to Me heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:28-31). Your worship acknowledges My sovereignty as King and also acknowledges the only truly and living God as Father, Son, and Spirit. This worship invites the Holy Spirit to bring the character and compassion of the kingdom of heaven into your world. The Spirit longs to make clear what you need to do to fulfill My mission in your lost world. This guidance from the Holy Spirit is something I promised you and prayed for you on the night I was betrayed (John 14:1-31; John 15:1-27; John 16:1-33). This guidance from the Spirit unleashed in worship (Ephesians 5:15-21; Acts 13:1-3) leads you to fulfilling my mission and is something I again promised to you before I ascended into heaven (Acts 1:8).

Genuine worship, whether individual in your everyday life or in community, should lead you to achieving your mission. This appeal has been true through the ages — the call of Isaiah came during a powerful time of worship and is a great example of this principle (Isaiah 6:1-8). It was true of My earliest disciples. It should be true in you. Worshiping Me leads to mission outreach with Me. That is the natural direction worship leads My disciples. That is what happened in community worship for the church in Antioch with Barnabas and Paul in the verses below.

Paul (who is still identified at this point in Acts by his Jewish name, Saul) and Barnabas delivered the contribution of Christians in Antioch to the believers in Jerusalem. This gift was to help the Jerusalem believers through the severe famine that Agabus had prophesied (Acts 11:27-30). On returning to Antioch, Paul and Barnabas were accompanied by Barnabas’ cousin Mark (also known as John Mark). Mark was the son of a very influential lady in Jerusalem who had hosted meetings for Me in My ministry and for the early disciples in her home (Acts 12:12). Mark would accompany Barnabas and Paul on the early part of their first mission trip. And even though he had his moments of failure (Acts 13:13), Barnabas mentored him (Acts 15:37-39) and Mark proved to be incredibly valuable to Paul later (2 Timothy 4:11-13) and to My church through the ages through the influence of his writings.

Barnabas and Paul returned to Antioch with this young disciple. They joined in worship and fasting with the other Christians in Antioch. In their worship, the Spirit made clear that Barnabas and Paul (Saul), who were two of their most important leaders, needed to be sent out on a mission. So with prayer and more fasting they placed their hands on these two and sent them to bless people in other places who had never heard the good news of My grace. Mark accompanied them on the early part of this crucial mission journey.

Verses to Live

When you worship, anticipate the movement of the Spirit in your worship to lead you and stir you to mission. The event described in the following verses is not just the story of what happened in the early church long ago. It is also a reminder of what the Spirit longs to lead you and your fellow believers to do today!

Meanwhile, the time Barnabas and Saul spent in Jerusalem came to an end, and they reported back to Antioch, bringing along John, who was also called Mark.

The church in Antioch had grown strong, with many prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon (a dark man from Central Africa), Lucius (from Cyrene in North Africa), Manaen (a member of Herod’s governing council), and Saul. Once they were engaged in a time of worship and fasting when the Holy Spirit spoke to them, “Commission Barnabas and Saul to a project I have called them to accomplish.” They fasted and prayed some more, laid their hands on the two selected men, and sent them off on their new mission. Having received special commissioning by the Holy Spirit, Barnabas and Saul went to nearby Seleucia on the coast. Then they caught a ship to the island of Cyprus.

(Acts 12:25; Acts 13:1-4)

Response in Prayer

O Father, as I worship you individually, and as I worship you with other Christians, I offer myself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Stir my heart with joy and enthusiasm. Convict my heart of sin, including the sin I do not or will not see in myself. Convict and correct me gently, O God, but please do convict and correct me, both for my good and for Your glory. Open my eyes and my heart to the mission to which You are calling me. Give me the courage to go and to serve and to share the gospel of Jesus in tangible ways as the Spirit leads me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.