Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

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Written by Peter Langbroek
The two good friends were arguing.

"I know he left you in Perge. But, please give him another chance!"

"I can't risk it, Barnabas."

"Paul, I assure you, he's changed. He won't do it this time."

Paul dug his sandals into the sand. He looked down. "No. I won't."

Barnabas looked at his friend Paul. He realized Paul would not budge. He agreed. His cousin, John Mark, was wrong when he deserted them in Pamphylia and did not continue with them in their work. But Barnabas believed in giving him another chance. After all, he knew John Mark well. Preaching the Gospel to pagan Greeks wasn't easy, and John Mark, as sincere and gifted as he was, lacked courage.

The two friends stood silent for some time. It was useless. They had so many plans, to go back together where they preached before. What were they going to do?

The two friends left. Paul decided to go back to where he preached before, but without Barnabas. He went with Silas instead. Barnabas took John Mark with him on a boat to Crete.

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That must have been very painful for Barnabas and Paul. They had so trusted each other. But they had to part ways. You wonder who was right. Well, in fact, Barnabas was right. John Mark proved to be a bold witness of Christ in the island of Crete. A church was formed there when people believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul returned to where he had preached, and he preached with Silas. God blessed their ministry (you can read about their journey in Acts 15:39-18:22.)

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Years later, Paul sat in prison in Rome. His days were numbered. Sooner or later, by order of the Emperor Nero, someone would take him to be beheaded. He talked while a man wrote down what he said. It was the second epistle to Timothy. "Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to the ministryÓ (2 Timothy 4:11). Paul admired John Mark, the man who had deserted him before. He admitted he was wrong and Barnabas was right.

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Children, God works in mysterious ways. In real life, you are often forced to make choices that you never expected you would have to make. Many times those choices are very painful, as they were for Paul and Barnabas. Dreams and plans are often shattered. Always remember, though, that God is in charge. He will accomplish what He wants to accomplish. He will even use the sins of others and ourselves to move us in different direction. Read Acts 15: 39-18:22 to see how God used the parting of two friends over an argument to perform His will.

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