Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem. Acts 13:13

After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Perga and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp

that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. Acts 15:36-40

Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry. 2 Timothy 4:11

Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:

Acts 13 gives us the amazing account of how the Holy Spirit worked to move the church in Antioch to send out Paul and Barnabas as missionaries to the world. Verse 5 tells us that they also had John as their helper. The passages above show us that the development of a young person is a process with ups and downs. For John to be with Paul and Barnabas in the first place shows us that he was someone with great potential. It also shows us that the older generation saw the value of building into the next generation. Certainly, John Mark was helping and contributing, but the greater benefit was his training and development to become an instrument of the gospel for impacting his own generation. With the ups and downs of John Mark’s development, it is great to see that the final word we are given concerning him is that he became someone that was truly helpful for the work of the kingdom.

Every one of us is an instrument of the gospel and we are expected to be truly helpful for the work of the kingdom. As the older generation seeks to reach its own generation it must build into the next generation through training and development so that they too become instruments of the gospel for impacting their generation. This is an important part of living fully for God. We are talking about a lifestyle for each of us and for our church where we keep clearly focused on our true purpose for being here. Our legacy must not be about buildings and programs. Our true legacy will come from genuine kingdom living that naturally engages our young people and equips them for impacting their own generation.

Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:

Lord, give me a greater understanding of kingdom living. Deliver me from living for myself. Lead me into patterns of living that line up with your desire for my life to impact my generation and the next in all the amazing ways you have in mind for me. I am here before you in worship, surrender, and faith for your will to be done in my heart and life. Amen!