Our Missionary Assignment

  • February 15, 2016
Monday 15

Acts 13:1-4

To understand God’s view of mission work, we can look at today’s passage. Paul and Barnabas set the standard when they obeyed God’s call to go forth. The local body of believers—those left behind to share Jesus Christ with neighbors and friends—equipped the men for their journey. They did so for the same reasons that apply today:

The spiritual condition of mankind. Romans 1:21-32 describes this sinful world. Unchecked sin leads people down a slippery slope toward a depraved conscience and, ultimately, a darkened mind that cannot perceive what is right. Every unbelieving person is sliding on that treacherous path.

God’s spiritual provision. Responding with grace to mankind’s plight, the Father sent His Son to save the world. On the cross, Christ bore the sin of every person—living, no longer alive, and yet to be born. The offer of salvation is for all; God’s grace is blind to race, creed, and color (Rom. 10:12). All who believe in Jesus are forgiven of their sin, and they’ll spend eternity with Him.

The commission from Jesus Christ. Acts 1:8 says that we receive the Holy Spirit so we may bear effective witness to those who need salvation. Notice that we don’t simply begin at home and work steadily outward. People everywhere are waiting for the good news. The Word is to be carried far and fast.

The purpose of the church is to worship and witness. Some will go and some will send, but all are called to the work of spreading the gospel. This is not a suggestion; it is a command (Matt. 28:19). Believers living in God’s will are all to be involved in missionary work.

Bible in a Year: Numbers 20-22

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1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,

30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;

8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

1 Then the sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came to the wilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people stayed at Kadesh. Now Miriam died there and was buried there.

2 There was no water for the congregation, and they assembled themselves against Moses and Aaron.

3 The people thus contended with Moses and spoke, saying, If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the LORD!

4 Why then have you brought the LORD'S assembly into this wilderness, for us and our beasts to die here?

5 Why have you made us come up from Egypt, to bring us in to this wretched place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water to drink."

6 Then Moses and Aaron came in from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of the LORD appeared to them;

7 and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

8 Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink."

9 So Moses took the rod from before the LORD, just as He had commanded him;

10 and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?"

11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank.

12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."

13 Those were the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with the LORD, and He proved Himself holy among them.

14 From Kadesh Moses then sent messengers to the king of Edom: Thus your brother Israel has said, `You know all the hardship that has befallen us;

15 that our fathers went down to Egypt, and we stayed in Egypt a long time, and the Egyptians treated us and our fathers badly.

16 `But when we cried out to the LORD, He heard our voice and sent an angel and brought us out from Egypt; now behold, we are at Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory.

17 `Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or through vineyard; we will not even drink water from a well. We will go along the king's highway, not turning to the right or left, until we pass through your territory.'"

18 Edom, however, said to him, You shall not pass through us, or I will come out with the sword against you."

19 Again, the sons of Israel said to him, We will go up by the highway, and if I and my livestock do drink any of your water, then I will pay its price. Let me only pass through on my feet, nothing else. "

20 But he said, You shall not pass through." And Edom came out against him with a heavy force and with a strong hand.

21 Thus Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through his territory; so Israel turned away from him.

22 Now when they set out from Kadesh, the sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor.

23 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor by the border of the land of Edom, saying,

24 Aaron will be gathered to his people; for he shall not enter the land which I have given to the sons of Israel, because you rebelled against My command at the waters of Meribah.

25 Take Aaron and his son Eleazar and bring them up to Mount Hor;

26 and strip Aaron of his garments and put them on his son Eleazar. So Aaron will be gathered to his people, and will die there."

27 So Moses did just as the LORD had commanded, and they went up to Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation.

28 After Moses had stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on his son Eleazar, Aaron died there on the mountain top. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain.

29 When all the congregation saw that Aaron had died, all the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days.

1 When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, then he fought against Israel and took some of them captive.

2 So Israel made a vow to the LORD and said, If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities."

3 The LORD heard the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites; then they utterly destroyed them and their cities. Thus the name of the place was called Hormah.

4 Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey.

5 The people spoke against God and Moses, Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food."

6 The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.

7 So the people came to Moses and said, We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us." And Moses interceded for the people.

8 Then the LORD said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live."

9 And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.

10 Now the sons of Israel moved out and camped in Oboth.

11 They journeyed from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness which is opposite Moab, to the east.

12 From there they set out and camped in Wadi Zered.

13 From there they journeyed and camped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that comes out of the border of the Amorites, for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.

14 Therefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the LORD, Waheb in Suphah, And the wadis of the Arnon,

15 And the slope of the wadis That extends to the site of Ar, And leans to the border of Moab."

16 From there they continued to Beer, that is the well where the LORD said to Moses, Assemble the people, that I may give them water."

17 Then Israel sang this song: Spring up, O well! Sing to it!

18 The well, which the leaders sank, Which the nobles of the people dug, With the scepter and with their staffs." And from the wilderness they continued to Mattanah,

19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth,

20 and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the land of Moab, at the top of Pisgah which overlooks the wasteland.

21 Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon, king of the Amorites, saying,

22 Let me pass through your land. We will not turn off into field or vineyard; we will not drink water from wells. We will go by the king's highway until we have passed through your border."

23 But Sihon would not permit Israel to pass through his border. So Sihon gathered all his people and went out against Israel in the wilderness, and came to Jahaz and fought against Israel.

24 Then Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as the sons of Ammon; for the border of the sons of Ammon was Jazer.

25 Israel took all these cities and Israel lived in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all her villages.

26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken all his land out of his hand, as far as the Arnon.

27 Therefore those who use proverbs say, Come to Heshbon! Let it be built! So let the city of Sihon be established.

28 For a fire went forth from Heshbon, A flame from the town of Sihon; It devoured Ar of Moab, The dominant heights of the Arnon.

29 Woe to you, O Moab! You are ruined, O people of Chemosh! He has given his sons as fugitives, And his daughters into captivity, To an Amorite king, Sihon.

30 But we have cast them down, Heshbon is ruined as far as Dibon, Then we have laid waste even to Nophah, Which reaches to Medeba."

31 Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites.

32 Moses sent to spy out Jazer, and they captured its villages and dispossessed the Amorites who were there.

33 Then they turned and went up by the way of Bashan, and Og the king of Bashan went out with all his people, for battle at Edrei.

34 But the LORD said to Moses, Do not fear him, for I have given him into your hand, and all his people and his land; and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon."

35 So they killed him and his sons and all his people, until there was no remnant left him; and they possessed his land.

1 Then the sons of Israel journeyed, and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan opposite Jericho.

2 Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.

3 So Moab was in great fear because of the people, for they were numerous; and Moab was in dread of the sons of Israel.

4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, Now this horde will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field." And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.

5 So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me.

6 Now, therefore, please come, curse this people for me since they are too mighty for me; perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed."

7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam and repeated Balak's words to him.

8 He said to them, Spend the night here, and I will bring word back to you as the LORD may speak to me." And the leaders of Moab stayed with Balaam.

9 Then God came to Balaam and said, Who are these men with you?"

10 Balaam said to God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent word to me,

11 `Behold, there is a people who came out of Egypt and they cover the surface of the land; now come, curse them for me; perhaps I may be able to fight against them and drive them out.'"

12 God said to Balaam, Do not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed."

13 So Balaam arose in the morning and said to Balak's leaders, Go back to your land, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you."

14 The leaders of Moab arose and went to Balak and said, Balaam refused to come with us."

15 Then Balak again sent leaders, more numerous and more distinguished than the former.

16 They came to Balaam and said to him, Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, `Let nothing, I beg you, hinder you from coming to me;

17 for I will indeed honor you richly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Please come then, curse this people for me.'"

18 Balaam replied to the servants of Balak, Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the command of the LORD my God.

19 Now please, you also stay here tonight, and I will find out what else the LORD will speak to me."

20 God came to Balaam at night and said to him, If the men have come to call you, rise up and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you shall you do."

21 So Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab.

22 But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him.

23 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way.

24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side.

25 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed herself to the wall and pressed Balaam's foot against the wall, so he struck her again.

26 The angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right hand or the left.

27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick.

28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"

29 Then Balaam said to the donkey, Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now."

30 The donkey said to Balaam, Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?" And he said, No."

31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground.

32 The angel of the LORD said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me.

33 But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live."

34 Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the way against me. Now then, if it is displeasing to you, I will turn back."

35 But the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, Go with the men, but you shall speak only the word which I tell you." So Balaam went along with the leaders of Balak.

36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, which is on the Arnon border, at the extreme end of the border.

37 Then Balak said to Balaam, Did I not urgently send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I really unable to honor you?"

38 So Balaam said to Balak, Behold, I have come now to you! Am I able to speak anything at all? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I shall speak."

39 And Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth.

40 Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent some to Balaam and the leaders who were with him.

41 Then it came about in the morning that Balak took Balaam and brought him up to the high places of Baal, and he saw from there a portion of the people.

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Publish Date October 1, 2016
Watching God Work

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