Saturday, December 3, 2016


Today’s Reading: Acts 13

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).


This is Antioch. Today it is called Antakya in Turkey. Saul (Paul) and Barnabas were sent out from here as missionaries. Tradition says that Peter pioneered the Church here. At first, as was the Jewish custom, they spoke in the synagogue, but those who believed then gathered in a cave for Christian worship.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verse: Acts 13:2-3

As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.


In chapter 9, Saul (later Paul) was sent by the Jerusalem Church to his home city of Tarsus. In chapter 11, Barnabas is sent from Jerusalem to find Saul. Barnabas and Saul settle in Antioch. Saul may have served the Lord here for a dozen years as a faithful local church member before the Holy Spirit revealed God’s plan for a missionary team which would reach other communities.

It is essential that God’s people remain faithful in a local Church. This is where mentoring takes place, and where ministry gifts can be developed providing the Senior Pastor has the New Testament Vision. The experience at a home Church will confirm whether or not God has called us to a larger place in ministry. Our brothers and sisters who know us best will witness to God’s call. It was in Cyprus that Saul (which means “big”) became known as Paul (which means “little”). Perhaps when Saul exercised great authority, as recorded in verses 9 to 12, Barnabas recognized that Saul needed to constantly be reminded to stay humble. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul tells us that God intervened to help keep him humble. The “thorn in the flesh” was so that Paul would not become “exalted above measure.” God knows our weaknesses and deals with us accordingly. Paul, educated in the rabbinical schools, knew his Hebrew Bible. Notice how he bases his preaching on God’s Word.


Lord God, please help me to preach and teach the Scriptures. Help me to learn from Paul’s way of communicating Your Word. Lord Jesus, You urged me to pray that “the Lord of the harvest would send forth labourers into His harvest field” (Matthew 9:38). You answered Your prayer request in the Antioch Church by calling two people into full-time service. Do this again and again in our day, I pray. Amen!


For years now, I’ve tried to remember to pray Jesus’ prayer request each morning. In the “Our Father,” Jesus tells us, “When you pray, say…” In our prayer for “labourers” (not big preachers or executives), we recognize that this is a call to, as Churchill put it, “blood, sweat and tears.” It’s a call to die to personal ambition or any kind of self-seeking. For Paul it meant genuine hardship. Check out 2 Corinthians 11:23-33. I ask myself upon reading these verses, “Do I still want everything God has planned for my life?” YES, YES, and YES!!!! I would like to be somewhere nearby when Paul stands before the Lord in the believer’s judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10). I must never take God’s call lightly. It is the most serious calling in the universe. Obedience must be my #1 priority.

Yours for a greater understanding of God’s call on your life and mine,


P.S. The photo of modern Antioch was the first one taken by my eldest son, Reynold, on a trip across Turkey, Greece, and Italy. He is the professional photographer in our family, as well as a missionary with his wife Kathy (Paul made tents to support his missionary calling). Check out their missions website HERE. Ron, my younger son, is also an ordained minister. He and his wife Ann proofread every blog before it’s posted and add any needed links. Thank you, my sons and spouses!

12 thoughts on “Saturday, December 3, 2016

  1. YES, YES, YES! My friend, who is a Mohawk Native has a sister in the stage 4 cancer and being cared by relatives on the reserve, told me she is waiting to go to her bedside in a day or two. She has to take a train to Montreal and then be driven 12 hours to the reserve. I asked her if there wasn’t air travel. She said, yes, they have the air service that Billy Diamond started years ago. I told her I had met Chief Billy at a Pow Wow in Toronto after seeing him on Huntley St. She told me she was close with the Diamond family and his sister was her closest friend. She asked his sister (when they were young kids) to ask her mom if my friend could name the next baby. She got the opportunity and it was “Billy”! Christianne Mary is my friend’s name. She was named by elders and she was born on Christmas Day. Please remember her just now. Thanks.

  2. It’s hard to express my thoughts right now but the Lord and I know what memories this key verse has for me. Thank you David for your sharing of your heart and soul. Makes us reflect on our own lives and what the Lord would have us to do. Thank you for your ministries to us Reynold and Ron and spouses, also you Norma-Jean. God bless all saints today!

  3. Yes, may you Lord Jesus be with Christianne Mary as she goes to her sister’s bedside. Give her strength, love, peace and comfort as she ministers to her maybe for the last time. Lord you know all about these difficult times in our lives and you are there with compassion. As I read this morning that you are touched with the feelings of our infirmities. And Lord she will need to extra strength to reach her so Lord supply all her need and safety as well. Thank you Jesus. Amen!

  4. David, you are such a blessing and your steadfastness is such a cause to give thanks for!!
    God bless you and the Mainse clan with hearts full of joy.

  5. Vivienne has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphona and starts her chemo treatment next week. The prognosis is hopeful.
    We have been married for 48 years and now ask for your prayers both for us and her excellent medical team.
    We enjoyed our trip with David and Norma-Jean to the Holy Land in 2012.


    • TY Lord for all the blessings of this day! We thank You Lord for blessing Vivienne and Graham with 48 years of a blessed marriage!
      We thank You Lord for the wonderful trip they made to the Holy Land in 2012! They had a very enjoyable time and were greatly blessed by this venture!
      Lord we come to You and ask that You would heal this beautiful wife of her NHL! We pray and believe that the chemo treatments will get rid of all the damaged cells and that Vivienne will regain her complete health and be able to enjoy her life, her precious husband, the precious life You have given each and every one of us!
      Lord we ask that You will continue to bless this couple, we thank You that Graham posted this prayer request! It is a very good blessing to ask for prayers for all things that concern us and our loved ones! Thank You Lord for this blog! This blog enables many, many to pray, to encourage, to share our concerns and thoughts with each other and with our Lord Jesus Christ, In HIS Name we Pray amen amen amen

  6. Thank you Anna for your prayer support!
    Please pray for Kevin, he has a family, is desperately needed a safe place to live, at a reasonable rent, he works 2 jobs, served in military for 8 years, responsible parent, Lord we pray that You will provide Kevin with affordable housing! Thank you Lord amen amen
    please continue to pray for financial breakthrough for me! need to clear debts and help family/friends/missions again we PRAISE and Thank the Lord amen

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