THE FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY
While Saul, Barnabas, and other believers in Antioch were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit appointed Barnabas and Saul to preach the gospel wherever God called them to go. After more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They sailed to the Island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. When they arrived there, they met a Jewish sorcerer and a false prophet named Bar-Jesus. The governor, Sergius Paulus, invited Barnabas and Saul, but Bar-Jesus tried to deter the governor from believing in the Lord. So Saul, filled with the Holy Spirit, rebuked Bar-Jesus and the Lord blinded him. From that time on, Saul was called Paul. When the governor saw what had happened, he believed in the Lord Jesus. (Acts 13:1-12). First Missionary Journey map.
We need to understand that the Holy Spirit called and sent out Paul and Barnabas to preach the gospel to every place that the Holy Spirit would guide them. This is Paul's first missionary journey with Barnabas and John Mark (the writer of the gospel Mark). Saul used to be the persecutor of the believers, but now he has become the preacher of the gospel with a new named Paul. From this time on, he will be called the apostle Paul. The Holy Spirit sent Paul because there is no salvation apart from believing in the Lord Jesus alone. Peter said, "And there is no salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Our God is a missionary God. He sent Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey because God knew that it was only by the name of Jesus that people would be saved. Jesus is the only answer to life and salvation.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully and meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speaks to you). Why did the Holy Spirit send Barnabas and Paul to preach the gospel? Why is it important for anyone to believe in Jesus? What does it mean to believe in Jesus?
Father in Heaven, I am saved today because someone shared the Lord Jesus with me. Thank you for opening my heart to believe in you. Please help me to live according to your ways and be willing to share my faith with others. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.