Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. Acts 13:1-4
I'm still in the book of Acts. This time with Eckhard Schnabel as my guide. He makes four points in his application of the lessons we can learn today from Acts 13 — Missionary work is authenticated by the Holy Spirit, supported by the local church in Antioch, characterized by geographical movement. and focused on proclaiming the word of God. Here's the first,
Missionary work is authenticated by the Holy Spirit. The primary cause of the missionary work of Paul and Barnabas and the primary cause of the effectiveness of their proclamation of the gospel is the Holy Spirit as the transforming power of God’s powerful presence.
The missionary work of the early church—indeed of any church—can be adequately understood only if one grasps the reality, the power, and the work of the Holy Spirit as the effective reality, power, and work of God himself.
Too many missionary/missional/mission writings assume it's all up to us.
Assignment: Read through the book of Acts in a setting and identify the work of God the Father, the Risen Son, and the Holy Spirit. Print out a copy of the text and mark it. Mission is a work of God.
Tomorrow: Confrontation with evil forces.