Called and Sent

Paul and Barnabas

In Acts Chapter 9 we saw that Saul of Tarsus, who was persecuting Christians, became a Christian himself.  Luke the author wants us to read between the lines.  Saul, a very educated and devout Pharisee, is now a Christian.  Surely that qualifies him as a great missionary or pastor.  After all, he is more educated than the other followers and is now committed to Christianity.

It doesn’t always work that way.  God took some extra time with Paul.  Why did he take extra time with Paul?  it is hard to say.  One thing is for certain.  God knows what He is doing.  Maybe Paul needed to experience worship under the leadership of others first.  Maybe God just wanted to teach Paul patience.  Whatever it was, it is important to understand the difference between being called and being sent.  It seems in this passage that Paul and Barnabas knew it was coming, but God had not permitted them to move forward with the plan yet.

They were in a state of worship with other believers and they agreed the Spirit was telling them to go forward.  Christians often find their calling.  There is much talk about being called to do this or that.  God burdens some to be pastors, leaders, or missionaries.  He may call you to be a mother, or to adopt a child.  However, being called and being sent are not the same thing.  A person may spend many years feeling the burden for something before God sets them free to actually pursue their life’s calling.

This entry was taken from my book, “The New Testament Challenge,” p. 103.

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