Acts 13:1-3 Devotional
by Bobby Bruno

"In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off."
Acts 13:13 NIV

When our devotional talked about the present church making decisions based on the whims and desires of just one man, here is what I have to say. I currently go to a new church because the old one decided that they wanted to reach the youth of our area. This meant that a few changes had to be made. One was that I was kicked off the drum set simply because the church wanted a more youthful worship band, which left my gifting and talent nowhere to play. This new youthful worship band now plays so loud that you can't really understand anything they are doing musically or anything they are saying vocally. The head Pastor of this church wants it this way and will not change it even after receiving many, many complaints about the "noise" the band now produces. In the new church I now go to, and will be playing drums at soon, they actually measure the decibel level in the room so the music doesn't get too loud to understand or to hurt people's ears.

The church I went to before the one above was a church where God gave the church, through the selling of jewelry, cars, and vacation homes, etc, by the congregation, 4.5 million dollars to build a new sanctuary. The leaders decided that this was not enough money so they went and took out a loan for another 5 million dollars so they could get the best sound system, the best chairs, and the best stage lighting because they wanted to put on Christian shows at their church. Three major giving projects later many people left that church because they had already given enough. Unfortunately, because of the debt overload, this church of over 2,000 members went under.

Where was the Holy Spirit in all of this? Obviously, nowhere to be found in any of these decisions made in these two churches because men decided what God had done for them was not enough. In both of these churches worship was the most important which is okay, but it shouldn't be that way for a church to be balanced. I say all of this to ask what would have happened if the disciples that day the Spirit spoke decided that they needed to have a building program or that they needed to make sure Saul and Barnabas were so worshipped up that they would have glowed as did Moses' face on Mount Sinai? What if Saul had decided that he had to have had enough money to feed himself and Barnabas for at least the first month which would have delayed his entrance into the work of the Spirit? What if the disciples hadn't laid hands on the two until they had confessed every known sin they had committed since their last confession? Would the church of Christ grown as quickly as it did in the first century if man had decided to make all of the decisions for the church instead of letting the Holy Spirit lead? The decisions of man are destroying the church one decision at a time. As I stated above, the second church had a membership of over 2,000 families. Their exclusion of the Spirit's leading led to the death of that church. It's time to let the Spirit back into the church again before He decides that, since we feel we don't need Him, why should He stay with us.

Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love.  He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.

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