Below is a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a recording of this devotion on the prayer line (1-304-748-7900) or on the Cove Presbyterian Church Podbean page. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information.
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Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, "You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now listen - the hand of the Lord is against you, and you will be blind for a while, unable to see the sun." Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he went about groping for someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.
I hope most of us recognize that we’ve been called to do something special. I mean, we’ve been equipped by God with the gifts and talents necessary to do the work we’ve been called to do. And even though we may not always know the specifics, we can be confident of three things. First, it’ll bring glory to God. Second, it’ll reflect love for him and others. And third, God will use our efforts to make disciples of all nations. And so, regardless of the exact nature of the work, the results will be a blending of these three things. Of that we can be sure.
But there’s something else of which we can be confident; as we do the work God has called us to do, we’re going to face obstacles. For example, we may have to deal with people who don’t want to accept what we have to offer. And we may have to confront physical factors that may limit us in some way. We may even face opposition of some of our closest friends who might be trying to prevent us from doing something that they sincerely believe will hurt us. And these are just a few of the obstacles we might face. But they should never prevent us from moving forward, because we aren’t stepping into the future alone. Not only do we have one another, we also have the strength and the direction of the Lord. And with his help, I believe all obstacles can be overcome.