Observation: Acts 15 is a make or break moment in the early church. Had they not sought God for wisdom as to how to handle this issue, it would have largely nullified the work of Christ to save us in favor of following the law. We don’t add to what Christ did. We are saved by grace alone.
Question: Who was right: Barnabas or Paul? The passage does not tell us apart from the comment that Paul and Silas left commended by the believers. I think it is less about who is right and more about the reminder that we are going to have differences of opinions with other believers and we need to handle them in a way that honors God. You will find later in his life that Paul calls for Mark to help him. That produces a nice chapter in the story.
Application: Paul seems to miss where God is leading for a moment, but still ends up hearing God’s call and following God’s will. I want to live submitted to God’s leading in all things.
Prayer: Father, help me to worship You regardless of my circumstances. May others see the difference You make in my life in good times and bad.
We don’t know the details of how the Holy Spirit prevented Paul and company from going the direction they had planned. We do know they did not give up. Do we get discouraged when things don’t go the way we think they should and want to give up as well? Isaiah 55:8 says “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. (NKJV) When we recognize God is in control and surrender our human desire to be in charge, marvelous things happen. Can you think of a time your plans changed and a Devine appointment resulted?