Acts 15:36 – 16:5
In Acts 15 we hear about an early rift between Paul and Barnabas. They had a serious difference of opinion about who to take with them to visit towns where they had previously preached – to see how they were doing. A sharp disagreement sent them off in different directions. After Barnabas set off for Cyprus with Mark, we hear nothing more about him in Acts. Broken relationships often leave difficult issues for others to struggle with.
Such disturbances, unfortunately, are common in relationships today. How do we overcome such turmoil and maintain a healthy atmosphere for fruitfulness in our Lord’s ministry? We should take to heart the words of our Savior, “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). When we truly love one another, we seek reconciliation over disagreements rather than permanent separations.
Our Lord has had many disagreements with our choices of thoughts, words, and deeds but he did not abandon us. He responded out of love (John 3:16-17) and gave up his only Son as an atonement for all the ways we have disappointed him. As Jesus loves us, so we are called to love each other (John 13:34).
Prayer: Gracious Lord of all, fill us with your Spirit to love others as you have loved us – even those disagreeable ones. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Rev. Robert V. Alle, NALC Pastor.