Acts 13:1-13

Talks for Growing Christians

Paul’s First Missionary Journey Begins

Acts 13:1-13

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Lesson Number 22

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The work of the Lord should always be divinely directed.
  2. The work of the Lord will sometimes be extremely difficult.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t forget the rest of the story about John Mark.


  1. What is the emphasis of the book of Acts from this point?
  2. What is the key to being used by God in fruitful ministry?
  3. Who decided that Paul and Barnabas should go on a missionary journey?
  4. What are the advantages of teamwork in ministry?
  5. What was the purpose fasting and laying on of hands in Acts 13:3?
  6. What happened on the first stop of this missionary journey?


  1. The missionary travels of the apostle Paul
  2. Humility
  3. The Holy Spirit made the decision and communicated it to Paul and Barnabas.
  4. When more than one person are working together in a ministry there is encouragement and accountability.
  5. This was a symbolic gesture of identification, association, fellowship, and support in the work of the Lord.
  6. Paul and Barnabas preached throughout the island of Cyprus. Their success was contrasted with extreme difficulty. They came upon a false prophet who tried to disrupt the ministry and keep people from turning to the Lord.


  1. Review the ways you have become involved in the work of the Lord. How did the ministry begin? How was it decided who would be involved? The work of the Lord should always be divinely directed.
  2. The ministry of Paul and Barnabas faced extreme difficulty both externally and internally. After they faced a false prophet, one of their own team decided to leave them. Ministries still face difficulties today. But with God’s help these difficulties can be overcome and the work of the Lord can continue! Have you seen this to be true in your ministries?


  1. If we stopped reading here, we could conclude John Mark was useless for ministry. But we know from the rest of the New Testament that Mark went on to be used mightily of the Lord! Are you working alongside any young and immature believers? Give them a chance! With time and training, they may be used mightily by the Lord!

Key Verses

  • “The Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’” Acts 13:2

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