I was delayed in DTW airport due to thunderstorm warnings. I finally arrived at ORD airport one hour after the original estimated time of arrival. We called in and told everyone to get started with dinner and we quickly rush over to the meeting.
After eating just one slice of pizza (I decided to save my stomach for Joy Yee’s Pho later that evening), we started the Bible study. This week, we studied Acts 13:1-15:35. I stressed the importance of this section in our study, particularly in relation to the apostolic paradigm that we have been trying to address.
First of all, in 13:1-3, we noticed 3 things when it comes to sending out people to do the work of the Kingdom: there was 1) A calling 2) A confirmation and 3) A commissioning. We observed that as they were fasting and worshipping the Lord that God called Barnabas and Paul for His work. Then after they fasted and prayed, they knew it was God’s will to send out Barnabas and Paul so they confirmed the calling by laying their hands on them. Then, they were commissioned to do the work, as they were sent off to various places to preach the Gospel.
Secondly, we noticed that in the apostolic paradigm, there were signs and wonders that accompanied their calling (13:6-12; 14:3; 14:8-10; 15:12). We discussed how we need to see more of the miraculous in this new church plant – whether it is in the area of healing or even deliverance from demonic influences. But most of all, we want to see the miracle of a transformed heart given completely over to Jesus Christ.
Thirdly, in the apostolic paradigm, we saw that the apostles went to a specific place and after laying down the foundation, moved on to another place to preach the Gospel. It is this constant centrifugal (moving away from the center) focused mission that causes the people to “reproduce” God’s work from place to place. The apostles made sure that the believers there were encouraged and strengthened so that the community of faith could continue on with the mission (13:43; 14:3; 14:21-23; 14:28; 15:32-35);
After our study, we ended up praying for the church plant as well as for one another. In the midst of our prayers, the verse that kept on sticking out was Acts 13:36, “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.” I prayed that we will be able to serve God’s purposes in our generation… for such a time as this.
We are at 55 days and counting… until the official launch of the church.
Please continue to pray with us.