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God’s Story... For My Life - Sunday, August 10, 2014

Prepared to Go

Read Galatians 2:1-10

Then fourteen years later I went back to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas; and Titus came along, too. I went there because God revealed to me that I should go. While I was there I met privately with those considered to be leaders of the church and shared with them the message I had been preaching to the Gentiles. I wanted to make sure that we were in agreement, for fear that all my efforts had been wasted and I was running the race for nothing. And they supported me and did not even demand that my companion Titus be circumcised, though he was a Gentile.
(Galatians 2:1-3)

Reflect

After his conversion, Paul spent many years preparing for the ministry to which God had called him—to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15-16). This preparation period included time alone with God (Galatians 1:16-17), as well as time conferring with other Christians.

God told Paul, through a revelation, to confer with the church leaders in Jerusalem about the message he was preaching to the Gentiles, so they would understand and approve of what he was doing (Acts 15). This meeting prevented a major split in the church. The essence of Paul’s message to both Jews and Gentiles was that God’s salvation is offered to all people regardless of race, sex, nationality, wealth, social standing, educational level, or anything else. Anyone can be forgiven by trusting in Christ (see Romans 10:8-13).

Sometimes we avoid conferring with others because we fear that problems or arguments may develop. Instead, we should openly discuss our plans and actions with friends, counselors, and advisers. Good communication helps everyone understand the situation better, it reduces gossip, and it builds unity in the church.

Respond

Some Christians, in their zeal, want to begin a full-time ministry without investing the necessary time studying the Bible and learning from qualified teachers. Has God given you a message to share with someone or some other ministry? You need not wait to share Christ with your friends, but you may need more preparation before embarking on a special ministry, whether volunteer or paid. God usually equips those he leads. He will lead you to the right resources to help you prepare. While you wait for God’s timing, you can continue to study, learn, and grow.