Learning from Parting-A John Mark Moment

It was in the Christian cradle of Antioch
That God assigned Paul and Barnabas
For the work they had to do was much
The two man mission was blessed by the Church
The field was fruitful for they were in God’s will
Preaching with zeal and souls were healed
With helpers like John Mark and Silas
Who were ordained to serve the cause
Yet this great missionary union would pause
John Mark soon left for a breather
While Paul and Barnabas went on working
John’s remorseful return got them talking
Paul would never work with a man
Whose flame burned with fluctuating zeal
Would he not depart again for trifling gain?
Barnabas was more forgiving and insisted
That with them John Mark was leaving
He must be part of the mission was his submission
This caused a great altercation and dissension
Neither man would yield to the other’s will
They parted-separated by their opinions
About the suitability of John Mark
Barnabas was right-John never again
Abandoned the fight for fright or right
The years proved his constancy as a warrior
Many years later as Paul lay facing execution
He invited the runaway helper to assist him
He was now useful in the Gospel’s propagation
Have you had a John Mark moment?
Has a trifling issue divided a God-given union?
If you have lost Barnabas because of John Mark
It may be impossible to restart the mission
Yet be like Paul who never condemned
Barnabas for his choice in the matter
And acknowledged the truth much later

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Check Time

The Gospel that Paul preached and believed
Did not come to him by theological study
But revelation was the illumination he received
Though divinely directed he sought human landmarks
Was he on the same apostolic spiritual path?
For defying the apostolic order was a real bother
To Jerusalem he went to compare notes
Lest he had preached or believed in vain
His doctrines were same with the others
Because similar inspirations would not conflict
Here’s a lesson that would always be a blessing
Always check with the Word before you
Go overboard and outside of the Lord
Check that your experience fits the Word
Within boundaries set by apostles and prophets

 

The Sight Of The Unspeakable

One day Paul was caught up into glory
And heard things not meant for a story
He was forbidden to utter about the matter
So it took him fourteen years to even muster
Courage to give barest outline of his experience
He was in a body and yet not in his body
For in eternity he shed the toga of humanity
And this our flesh now ageing and waning
Shall be tossed aside like a garment
Once we rise above the earthly firmament
He saw and could not write for words failed
To describe the third heaven of heavens
Where Christ reigns in unapproachable Light
In the sublime clime beyond time’s realm

Paul Escapes From Damascus

Who can escape a walled city when wanted?
By the resident garrison who were instructed
To arrest him by the Governor’s seal
Acting on King Aretas’ warrant and will
The Jews of Damascus played their card
The beholden king was obliged to deal
And bring their apostate enemy to heel
But God had other plans for Paul
Saintly helpers bundled him in a basket
But the walls were high and city gates locked
They winched him up and out by a window
Twas a gap in the tall wall-and lowered him
To miraculous safety on the other side
Garrison kept night watch not losing a stride
The morning discovery would destroy their pride

 

Arabian Conviction & Anathema

Saul with spiritual eyes now illuminated
Went to Arabia to study the Scrolls
Far from the maddening Mosaic trolls
In solitude to compare old prophecy
With this new unfolding revelation
The result of his aspiration was a conviction
That came not from intellectual perspiration
For what he got made prior learning naught
The sought truth was not what Rabbis taught
He could see Israel’s ancient desire
Was Christ-the manifested Messiah
Thus convinced he became concerned
Enough to propagate the true Word
With a burning flame of inspiration
He knew the source of his heartfelt Fire
Thus any contrary opinion drew his ire
He placed Anathema on any man or angel
Who dared to contradict this spiritual revelation
Or dilute it with a carnal interpretation

 

Saul Becomes A Brother

Brother Saul” said the astute Ananias
Who was Divinely sent to Straight Street
Where the blinded Saul was led to
There did the erstwhile foes meet and greet
The news had spread in the Christian fold
That Saul was arriving with fury untold
Ananias like others heard and feared
But God turned the script on its head
He appeared to the Ananias in a vision
And told him to pray for the prosecutor
Ananias was aghast-this man came to hound
God insisted-for He had turned Saul around
He that was a bother was now a brother
Who would yet suffer many things for the faith
Ananias prayed and Saul’s eyes were opened
To see the Gospel light on water baptism
Which dimmed the lights of dread and hatred
Then they parted-to meet again at Jesus’ feet

Mission To Damascus

It was a scorching day for a long march
Men and horses bristling with purpose
Bound to the Damascus to bind believers
Soon the sights of the city were close
Saul had been brewing his drink of indignation
The Christians would swallow its dregs
He would hound them in every Gentile nation
This hunting mission was scuttled by a vision
A Light from heaven-familiar to the scholar
For Saul correctly addressed Him as the Lord
Same Light that appeared while Moses trod
As he learnt under Gammaliel’s pedantic rod
Saul identified Him-but was soon mystified
For the Voice called Himself Jesus
Proving that He led Israel in the wilderness
Now a trembling Saul prostrate before Christ
Realized the vindication of the Messiah
For the Sacred Light of Judaism’s text
Illuminated a profound and singular fact
Same Jehovah of the Old Testament
Is the Jesus Christ of the New Testament
Saul fell doubting and arose believing
That Jehovah was in Christ Jesus reconciling
Christ was the entire Godhead-so no dividing