November 15, 2015 Sunday School Commentary
Lesson Guide, FAITH Series
Ready, Set, Go!
Background Text: Acts 16:1-15
Highlighted Text – Acts 16: 1-5, 8-15
Key Verse – “After he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them (Acts 16:10, KJV).
When we start working a vision that God gives us, we have a skewed view of the big picture. We should not allow limited knowledge of the steps in between conception and birthing to hinder our determination. The most important step is obedience. This is accomplished through the mere starting to work the vision. This is what the apostle Paul did. It didn’t seem like he was qualified or ready for the enormous task that God had for him. But his obedience didn’t just lead to one missionary journey, his journey continued and as a result, congregations were birthed and ministerial/evangelistic teams were established to assist with the vision.
Selecting a Team (Acts 16:1-5)
When Barnabas left Paul, it caused a position to be opened on Paul’s ministry team. While in Lystra, Paul decided to appoint Timothy, a teenager at the time whose mother and grandmother were Jews and Believers and his father was a Greek. Timothy followed in his mother’s footsteps. Paul knew that he needed to find the right people for certain areas of ministry. Timothy possessed many qualities making him ready for ministry at a young age. He had a religious heritage, a submissive attitude and and a cultural advantage; he would be able to reach both Jews and Greeks. Timothy was so serious about ministry that he allowed himself to be circumcised so that it would not hinder the Greeks from receiving him and hearing the Gospel.
Point to Ponder: Ministry workers should undergo training; however, this does not mean that the most qualified people are those with letters behind their names.
Listening to the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:8-10)
Paul had planned for his team to travel to the western province of Asia, but the writer Luke informs us that he was prohibited by the Holy Spirit. Paul received a vision of a man begging for help in Macedonia. He didn’t question the vision. He didn’t meet with his team to talk about it. But because Paul believed the vision was from God, the Bible tells us that they left at once to head towards Macedonia to preach the Gospel.
Point to Ponder: Congregations often argue today because their pastors make decisions without them. As a leader, especially a spiritual leader, you have to be willing to make executive decisions that your team may or may not agree with.
Favor follows Obedience (Acts 16:11-15)
On their journey, they encountered a worshipping woman named Lydia. She was also a businesswoman who sold purple clothing. They met her on the Sabbath day while they were seeking a place to pray. Lydia was one of the women that was gathered outside the city gate to the river. She listened and received Paul’s message. As a result, she and her household were baptized. Overjoyed by the fellowship, she invited the ministry team to stay at her house and they did.
Point to Ponder: Does your obedience to God take you to inconvenient or strange places?
Every Believer has a role in ministry. Our goals are the same: to evangelize and disciple those in Christ. Use your gifts to serve others. Also, make sure you are a part of a ministry or church that will provide opportunities for you be a part of a team. There is strength in numbers, especially those that are Holy Ghost filled. If you need assistance in understanding your gifts, inquire with your pastor or a local spiritual leader. Remember, that no one has to be gifted to be a bench member.
Commentary by, Evangelist Shulanda Hastings
Senior Ministry Leader
Spirit Realm Divine Manifestation Ministries