by Tammy Phillips
July 28, 2020
When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. – Acts 11:23 NKJV
Barnabas, the Encourager, was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch, a city in ancient Syria. Today, it is Turkish Antakya, a major town of south-central Turkey. It was the third largest city in the Roman Empire. Currently In the Unites States, our third largest city is Chicago. We do not see nor hear a lot of good coming out of Chicago. Can you imagine a city, so touched by the Lord that somebody from Washington, D.C. was sent to see what was going on? It was in Antioch where Christians were first called Christians. God was on the move and it could be seen. They were doing something right. How cool would it be hear, “Have you seen what is going on in Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, New York or Nashville,” and it be GOOD NEWS?
When Barnabas arrived:
- He saw the grace and favor God.
When others see us, do they see the grace of God in our lives? In today’s society, I can see others being envious and jealous. However, our lives should be so full of Jesus that others WANT WHAT WE HAVE and in a good way. We recently had dinner at our friend’s, the Heydel’s home, Rick made this statement: “Most of the world would still trade places with us on our worst day.” We are blessed and we need to share that blessing of Christ to all. We need to let our world SEE the grace of God operating in our lives.
- Barnabas was glad for the Christians in Antioch. Antioch had been much like present day Chicago. He was fully of joy at the transformation. He was happy with what the Lord was doing. Do people get happy just seeing what the Lord is doing in our lives? Do our lives promote joy and happiness?
- Barnabas encouraged them all. He saw obedience, maturity, and good in the Christians at Antioch. He motivated them to keep on keeping on.
- Barnabas exhorted them that they should cleave to the LORD. He urged them to remain faithful and devoted to the Lord. As Gentiles, the salvation of the Lord had been shared with them. He did not want them to turn back to their pagan ways.
- Barnabas inspired them to purpose in their heart to continue with the Lord. He persuaded them to be RESOLUTE (constant in pursuing a purpose) WITH THE LORD. No turning back, just spreading and keeping their eyes focused on Gospel of Christ.
The author of Hebrews said it like this:
“Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. – Hebrews 10:23-25 KJV
I enCOURAGE you, no matter what, let them see the grace of God alive and active in your life. Jesus is coming soon. In a hopeless world, share the GOOD NEWS OF CHRIST. You are blessed and highly favored. Hold fast to your faith. BE RESOLUTE WITH THE LORD.