Friday, March 18, 2016

Journeys have Beginnings and Endings

Photo by Elyce Feliz
Scripture: Acts 14:6-7
they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region; and there they continued to preach the gospel.

Insights: Our final thought this week deals with beginnings and endings.  Notice in today’s verses that Paul and Barnabas began new ministries in Lycania, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region.  Also notice they ended their ministry in Iconium.  This pattern of starting new things and ending old things is a constant method found in the Scriptures.  I will tell you I personally struggle with the ending of ministries and work.  One of the lessons instilled in me from my parents is you don’t quit something you begin.  I think this life lesson is fantastic and many people do not have enough fortitude to see something to the end.  At the same time, this biblical pattern of the Lord starting and ending things is also a paramount truth.  The Lord is all about new things.  Look at Revelation 21:5, “‘And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’”  God is and has been in the process of starting things with the determined purpose to make all things new after He redeems His bride.  We are called to join Him in this journey and that means somethings we do will be start ups and other things we do is end ministries or works that are no longer affective.  Walking this truth out is hard to do because of all the different nuances of growth.  In other words, there are times you need to just press on a little longer and then amazing breakthroughs begin to happen.  Other times you need to count the cost and let something just die because it is just not producing fruit.  But how do you know when to persevere and when to end something?  The answer is, listen to the Holy Spirit.  He is the only One who can truly guide you, but again, this ability to hear is not always easy.  Let me challenge you to spend time regularly with the Lord and learn to hear His voice very clearly.  The closer you get to Him, the easier it will be to distinguish His voice from all the other voices fighting for you attention.  You will be blessed if you follow hard after Him.

1. What ministry or work is God calling you to end presently?
2. What ministry or work is God calling you to begin presently?

Prayer: Father, help me to be sensitive to You and Your ways.  Give me the courage to stop and to start the ministries and works to which You have called me. Amen.

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