Sunday, April 1, 2018

Purposefully Choose Your Companions - The Requirements

Acts 13:13 (NKJV)
 Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem.

We are not told why John Mark made this decision, however, it is clear that prior to this occasion, he kept company with Paul and Barnabas and at this point, he chose to go a separate way from them.

Acts 15:36-41 (NKJV)
Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark.  But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God.  And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Emphasis Mine

Quite a lot could be learned from these scriptures about companionship. Amen!

·       Companionship requires decision making by the people involved.
-John Mark made a decision to go his separate way for reasons untold.
- Paul made a decision to not go with John Mark to the city although Barnabas wanted John Mark to go with them. This affected Paul and Barnabas’ relationship.
-As a result, Paul and Barnabas made a decision to go separate ways. Barnabas took John Mark and went to Cyprus while Paul chose Silas and went through Syria and Cilicia.
So, we see that a series of companionship decisions were made within these few verses.

·       Companionship is seasonal.
-We are not told why John Mark left Paul and Barnabas. However, for a season he served with them.
-Also, Paul and Barnabas served together for a season before going separate ways.
-Their separation led to a dawning of a new season for Paul and Silas. Subsequently, Paul and Silas were joined by Timothy and Luke.

·       Companionship requires agreement.
Acts 15: 37-39 (NLT)
Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia 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.
Emphasis Mine

Amos 3:3 (NLT)
Can two people walk together
    without agreeing on the direction?
Emphasis Mine

·       Companionship should be purpose-driven.
Acts 15:38 (NIV)
but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
Emphasis Mine

This scripture insinuates that the purpose of their companionship was to work together. Paul, being purpose driven, did not think it wise to keep company with someone who did not seem to respect the reason for their companionship.

·       Companionship requires wisdom.
Acts 15:38 (NIV)
but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
Emphasis Mine

·       Companionship requires loyalty.
Acts 15:38 (NIV)
but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
Emphasis Mine

The fact that Paul and Barnabas were deserted by John Mark suggests that they were abandoned. Possibly, John Mark was not loyal to this course.

·       Companionship requires communication and unity.
Acts 15:36 (NIV)
Sometime later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.”
Emphasis Mine

Paul communicated with Barnabas. And there was a sense of unity of purpose in their companionship. 

Purposefully Choose Your Companions - Speech and Action

As we continue to look at Saul, we can see that his speech and actions changed by virtue of his companionship. The bible says, Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God - Acts 9:20 (NKJV).”

Luke 6:45b (NKJV)
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Emphasis Mine

Our speech and actions tell on us all the time.
This scripture is a good example of scriptures to use when determining whom you should keep company with. Have practical criteria of whom and what you will like to keep company with. Listen to people. Watch people. It is that easy. Your confusion will be resolved.
I call on you this day to make up your mind; make a quality decision to purposefully choose your companions. Do not associate with any and everybody just because you feel like doing so. Or just because you will benefit from them. Amen!


There is an endless list of individuals in scriptures who served as instruments of change in the lives of others. The frequency of th...