The process of counting what a company has in its inventory is known as taking inventory. Can we apply this same process to our Christian walk?
Taking Inventory of the Church:
Paul is discussing a trip with Barnabas. Why did Paul take this second missionary journey and what was the purpose? Why would they want to go? Why should they? What has happened since his last visit? How many have been converted? He wants to go back and check on the church. He wants to take inventory of how the church has been functioning in his absence. The reason for them going was to see how the church had grown in its relationship with Christ.
Paul had a concern for the church’s spiritual growth. It does not matter if the church building grows or if the number of church members increases. If there is no personal spiritual growth then the church is only a social club. Have we seen that in today’s society?
A disagreement came between Paul & Barnabas. They differed strongly over Mark. Paul would not like to take him along in light of the fact that he had left them before (Acts 13:13). These two men only had a disagreement. There was no discouragement nor condemnation given. This conflict made these two incredible ministers’ structure two separate groups, opening up two different missionary journeys rather than one. Out of a storm, the Word was spread to twice as many people. God works even through struggle and conflicts. Afterward, Mark (additionally called Marcus) became essential to Paul's service (Colossians 4:10).
Sometimes God will put people in our lives for a specific period of time, as was the case with Barnabas. Now, on Paul's subsequent missionary journey, his second this time, Silas went with him, and it started roughly three years after his initial one finished. The two visited a significant number of the urban communities covered on Paul's first excursion, in addition to other people. This excursion laid the foundation for the church in Greece.
We must be careful: a disagreement can lead to discord, and discord can lead to disharmony. Christians do not always agree on some topics, yet issues can be overcome by settling on a truce and allowing God to work his will. Too often the devil will creep in and cause havoc when Christians disagree about something. Having a disagreement is not the problem. The problem occurs when we allow the disagreement to separate us.
Taking Inventory of Me:
We should not have a holier than thou attitude. The “oh look at how good I am, look at what I have, and just look at what I have done.” That is being like the Pharisee, all self-righteous and puffed up.
We must take inventory of ourselves. Have I been a good witness? Am I being a hindrance? Do I have a burden for lost souls?
Some might not be called to preach, but we can still share the Word of God to others. The opportunity may not rise again to reach a specific person. We are to present the Word properly, clearly, and faithfully.
Effective witnessing is not measured as much by how many are witnessed to, but by what we overcome to witness and how we witness.
Some people are more receptive to God’s Word, some are not. God gives both types to help us grow in our Christian faith and walk. A man once said in a Sunday School class, how many contacts did we make this week? What a thought! Are we truly reaching others for the Lord?
Do not get so caught up in the doing that we lose the reason why we are doing. Some people are too caught up in the quantity of people witness to, but the quality of witnessing is slack.
Do we witness:
Just like stocking the shelves at a grocery store, we must take inventory of ourselves, and see what is outdated then replace the old with the new. Let us go back, take inventory of ourselves, and see how WE do.
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