DAY 13 – A Church Fight, a Convention, and a Split.
READ: Acts 15:1-2, 5-6, 22-23a, 27-31, 36-39
Have you ever had to agree to disagree with a fellow believer? A few new converts firmly, and sincerely, believed that some old Jewish ways must be kept in order for people to be “saved”. Circumcision was one. A gathering similar to something like that of a convention ended up taking place where debate among the disciples regarding this issue got pretty heated. The Jerusalem leadership finally came to an agreement: send a letter to the church in Antioch with their decision and send with it a few of the godly men that had been witnesses to the discussion. Unfortunately, a festering disagreement between Paul and Barnabas didn’t fair as well. Their opinions over John Mark (who left them during the 1st Missionary journey) led the two to literally split and part ways!
How Does This Apply to Me? All of us come to the church (and to our faith) with differing backgrounds and understandings. We’re limited by what we know, or don’t know. What one believer feels is best is often not reflected in the heart of another. We shouldn’t be surprised when disagreements pop up, but we should be determined to deal with them in a way that pleases God and represents Him well. Regardless of the misunderstandings or missteps that tend to divide us as believers, let’s keep in mind that it’s the overall mission that truly unites us in the end.
Acts 15:2 And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.
Praying Together: Let’s ask The Lord for the grace and the wisdom to handle any disagreements that come our way in a Godly and mature manner.