Into All the World: Volume 2, Issue 8

The Complete Package

By John Yingling

Photo of Dr. John Yingling

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

—Acts 13:2

I do not believe that anyone would argue with the fact that Paul and Barnabas were quintessential missionaries. They, both, with their individual gifts and calling, set the standard for missionary service. I believe that this is due primarily to three specific principles that they embraced.

Missionary Highlight
Bill and Jennifer Green

Bill and Jennifer Green

Please pray for Bill and Jennifer Green. They have recently returned from their furlough to their work in Merida, Yucatan. They return as empty nesters. Caitlin was recently married, and Dallas will begin this fall at West Coast Baptist College.

The Greens minister to the Deaf in Merida. Merida is a predominately Catholic city of over 1 million people. Pray for Iglesia Bautista Para Los Sordos and the Greens as they reach out to the Deaf in Merida.

Please also pray for Bill and Jennifer’s adjustment, and pray for wisdom as they get back into the work. Pray for Dallas as he begins school.

Missionary Quote

“The Lord did not tell us to build beautiful churches, but to evangelize the world”
—Oswald J. Smith

First, notice the missionaries’ authority. The Scripture is clear. Paul and Barnabas were called and sent by the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ has all authority. Christ said this in Matthew 28:18, “All power (authority, jurisdiction) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Yes, they were sent through their local church, but they were sent by and took their orders directly from the Spirit of Christ. As missionaries their orders come straight from God, and there is no person or place that can trump God’s clear leading.

Next, notice the missionaries’ ability. The ability that Paul and Barnabas possessed becomes apparent in Cyprus while ministering in Paphos. Elymas the sorcerer confronted Paul and Barnabas while they preached the Word to Sergius Paulus. Acts 13:9 says this, “Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,” [emphasis added]. Every Christian should be filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul reminded the Ephesians of this truth in Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”. Do we live life in the over flow? Are we filled with the Spirit. No work will ever be accomplished for God with any other ability other than the ability of the Spirit.

Last, notice the missionaries’ accountability. This part of the missionary package is often the most neglected. Although Paul and Barnabas were under the direct authority of the Spirit of Christ, they were accountable to their local church. Notice in our text that God spoke to everyone in that prayer meeting not just Paul and Barnabas. The Bible always strikes a balance. Twice we are given this wisdom from Solomon: Proverbs 11:14, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Proverbs 24:6, “For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.” [emphasis added]. If God can speak to me He can also speak to those of authority in my life. Notice, at the end of their mission Paul and Barnabas again made themselves accountable to their home church (Acts 14:26-28). Accountability is not something we should be afraid of; it is something we should embrace. Accountability protects us from our humanity. Paul said it best in Ephesians 5:21, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

Are you and I operating as a complete package? Seek the authority. Serve with His ability. Submit to accountability.

Missionary Humor

After the third time that the father told his son and daughter to be quiet in church, the daughter pouted and asked, “Why do we have to be quiet in church?” Her brother quickly chimed in, “Because people are sleeping!”

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