Good morning! Generally, when we know what we want to do we begin preparations for whatever task is ahead. However, in our preparation we sometimes miss critical dates, a package arrives late, something is not available, etc. Yet, with God – God’s time and preparations are always better aligned than ours. Join me today as we continue our reading in Acts chapter eleven.
“22 When the church at Jerusalem heard what had happened, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. 24 Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord.
25 Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26 When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers[g] were first called Christians.)” – Acts 11:22-26 NLT
- The church in Jerusalem often heard about the new things God was doing amongst those who had been scattered.
- In the past few chapters we read that the church in Jerusalem sent Peter and John to visit regions where God was moving. In today’s verses we learn about Barnabas being sent.
- We first learned about Barnabas in Acts 4:36-37: “For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. 37 He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.“
- Barnabas had the same chacteristics as Stephen, “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith.“
The body of Christ, the church, you and I need encourages of the faith. God certainly used Barnabas in a mighty way. Barnabas was from Cyprus, eventually went to Jerusalem, was grounded in his faith and full of the Holy Spirit and in these verses Barnabas was called back to encourage and minister to the community he grew-up in. Look at God. While Barnabas was capable, the growth of the church was so rapid he went and got Saul from Taurus to help teach the word.
God used these men in spite of Saul’s past and in spite of Barnabas leaving the area years before. God knew the plan, these two men knew the area, the language, the culture but most of all understood how to reach the people right where they were.
Sisters and brothers, God is on the move. The message of the Good News of Jesus Christ is still expanding in the midst of a pandemic and social issues. God did not put anything on hold, may be we did…but He is still calling us to encourage our sisters and brothers in the faith and to continue our lives in Christ whether it’s online, in a parking lot, etc. Stay true to the Lord.
Questions to Ponder:
- How can you pray for the church?
- Who can you call and encourage today or this week?
- How are you pursuing the call that God has on your life?
- Who will you pray for today, tomorrow, this week and the next?
Stay true to the Lord.
Father God, thank you for your love toward us. Thank you for opening our eyes to see you on the move in spite of difficult and unprecedented times. Lord, you have seen worse conditions than we have seen. You lead Your people out from under harsh kings, famines, death sentences, abandonment, rejection, plagues, illnesses and so much more. Lord, we read about your faithfulness and have heard of the great and mighty things you have done. Lord, we belive and have our hope and faith secure in You, knowing you won’t fail and that You will deliver us again. Lord, while we watch You work equip and prepare us to bring You glory. Lord, send us to encourage others, send us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Lord, remove the spirit of doubt and confusion from within us. Help us to hear Your voice louder than the voice of the enemy. Lord, have your way. Be with those who are seeking jobs and give them favor in their interviews. Be with those going through Chemotherapy and give them strength. Lord, remove all the traces of cancer from their bodies and renew their spirits. In Jesus name, amen.
JOIN US ON A BIBLE STUDY JOURNEY AS WE EXPLORE “GIDEON: YOUR WEAKNESS, GOD’S STRENGTH.” BY PRISCILLA SHIRER.
- Location: Via Zoom (RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link)
- Begins: Wednesday, August 19, 2020
- 8 Week Session: August 19 – October 7, 2020
- Time: 6:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.
- We purchased the Gideon Video Bundle for Group Use. You will need to purchase your personal Bible study book.
- Bible Study Book: Gideon: Your weakness, God’s Strength. The author of the book is Priscilla Shirer.
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